Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Calamint

Calamintha
A small genus of perennials, that are part of the greater Labiatae family. They are closely related to the Mint but are not invasive.

Calamintha grandiflora ( Showy Calamint )
Also called Satureja grandiflora. A very vigorous, rhizomatous, spreading perennial, reaching a maximum size of 3 x 4 ( rarely over 3 ) feet, that is native to southern Europe.
The hairy, toothed, ovate leaves, up to 3.2 x 2.7 inches, are mid-green. The foliage is aromatic and can be used in cooking.
The pink or bright purple, tubular flowers, up to 1.3 inches in length, resemble that of Salvia and are borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in full sun to partial shade. It is easy to grow on just about any well drained soil. Heat and drought tolerant.

'Variegata'
Very vigorous, spreading, but upright bushy perennial, reaching up to 2 x 3 feet. The foliage is variegated with creamy-white splashing.
The bright pink flowers, up to 1.5 inches across, are somewhat sporadic.

Calamintha nepeta ( Lesser Calamint )
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 32 inches x 5 feet, that is native to the British Isles and southern Europe. Great for the front of the border and edging pathways, it is not invasive. Makes an excellent groundcover.
The small, gray-green, ovate leaves, up to 3 ( often half that ) inches in length, are minty fragranced. The aromatic foliage is often used in italian cooking.
The profuse, pale lilac flowers are borne on upright stems over a long season from early summer to mid autumn. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil.
Drought tolerant. Powdery mildew may sometimes be a problem.

* photo taken on Aug 2 2011 in Hyde Park, NY

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA


* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Blue Cloud'
Reaches a maximum size of 1.5 x 5 feet, bearing tiny, lavender-blue flowers; otherwise similar.

* photo taken on May 3 2014 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photo taken on Oct 17 2014 in Baltimore Co., MD
* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC


'Gottlieb Friedkund'
Reaches up to 2 x 2.5 feet with large, deep green leaves and deep lavender flowers borne over a long season.

subsp nepeta
Low and spreading, reaching up to 20 inches x 5 feet, with aromatic foliage and abundant, small, pale blue flowers borne on plumes from early summer to mid autumn.

* photos of unknown internet source



'White Cloud'
Reaches a maximum size of 1.5 x 5 feet, bearing white flowers; otherwise similar.

* photo taken on May 3 2014 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

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