Catnip (Nepeta cataria)



Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb in the mint family Lamiaceae. It is also known as field balm, catswort ot catmint.

Catnip grows to a height of 90-120 cm, with aromatic silver-gray or blue-green foliage. It grows well in sun or partial shade, in well-drained soil. In mid-summer to early autumn, it bears fragrant blue-purple, light purple or white flowers . The plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Propagation is by seed.

Nepeta cataria is mostly used as ornamental plant and also as a recreational substance for feline enjoyment. It contains an organic compound Nepetalactone, a cat attractant. The plant has been consumed as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion, or poultice. Catnip can also be smoked, and when combined with tabacco and other herbs, it provides a minty taste with mildly intoxicating effects. The active oil obtain from the plant can be used as a mosquito repellant.

Catnip blossomCatnip blossom
Author: Jon Sullivan (public domain)

CatnipCatnip
Author: Rasbak (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

CatnipCatnip
Author: KENPEI (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 Japan)

Catnip and snoozing catCatnip and snoozing cat
Author: Arria Belli (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

CatnipCatnip
Author: Forest & Kim Starr (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

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