Calamintha nepeta (Clinopodium nepeta) - Lesser Calamint


"Calamintha nepeta is a bushy, rhizomatous, perennial herb of the mint family that is native to Europe and the Mediterranean region. It typically forms a dense, indefinitely spreading, foliage mat with upright leafy flowering stems rising to 12-18” tall. Ovate, gray-green leaves (to 3/4” long) are very fragrant when crushed. Tiny, tubular, two-lipped, lilac to white flowers appear in axillary spikes (cymes to 15 flowers each) over a long June-September bloom period. Flowers are attractive to bees and other insect pollinators.

"Subsp. nepeta is a more vigorous performer with slightly larger flowers, larger inflorescences (to 20 flowers) and larger leaves (to 1.25” long). Leaves may be dried for potpourris or sachets.

"Genus name comes from Greek kalos meaning beautiful and mimthe meaning mint. Kalaminthe means savory.

"Specific epithet is in reference to the resemblance of the plant to catnip." (Missouri Botanical Garden)


  1. "Calamintha nepeta in Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin" By Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz - Own work, 27 September 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0,


Missouri Botanical Garden description:  Calamintha Nepeta - Plant Finder. Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.

Information and images compiled by Erik N.Vegeto

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