(Nepeta cataria)

Description: Perennial . 2-3'. Gray heart-shaped leaves with scalloped edges and a minty fragrance. Hardy. Pale pink blossoms with purple dots in the corollas. Leaves grown in partial shade are large and tender. Draws cats only if crushed.

Culture: Nice edging plant. Plant from seed or root divisions in sun in early spring. Cut stems from June on in order to get bushy plants. Do not allow to go to seed or it won't survive the winter.

Preservation: Hang to dry. Crumble leaves off the stems and store out of the light.

  • Culinary: In teas as a nightcap but keep covered in pot. Has a pungent mint flavor. Cats love the leaves.
  • Medicinal: Remedy for colds and fevers, headaches. As a poultice, it relieves swelling.
  • Repellent: Steep in water and use as a garden spray to discourage insects. An old method for keeping rats away from buildings was to grow catnip around foundations.

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