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Calamint – My new Favorite Perennial

Calamint with lamb’s ears

 

Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) ‘White Cloud’ is one of those plants that I’d never noticed – either at the nursery or in anyone’s garden – until I grew it myself, an experience that’s turned me into a HUGE fan of the plant.

 

Calamint with lamb’s ears

 

I love it because this one plant has spread in a single season to cover a 2×3′ area, and the white, mint-scented flowers that first appeared in June are still going strong in October!  Four continuous months of flowers! The butterflies and bees LOVE it.  AND it’s drought-tolerant.  And according to expert sources, it’s longer-lived and better smelling than the similar-looking baby’s breath.

I think the reason I never noticed it is that it’s a filler plant, not a show-stopper.   Like background plants, fillers sometimes get no respect. Just give it full sun to light shade and wow, what a performer!  It reportedly self-seeds and I’m soooo hoping it does.

Thanks to Larry Hurley for turning me on to this under-appreciated plant.

by Susan Harris

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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