Nepeta longipes
Common Name: nepeta
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: origin unknown
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to August
Bloom Description: Lilac
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Thrives in dry soils and is very tolerant of drought. Somewhat intolerant of the heat and humidity of the deep South, however, and appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Shear flower spikes after initial flowering to promote continued bloom. May self-seed in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Nepeta longipes is a catmint that forms a spreading clump of stems to 3’ tall. It is noted for the lilac color of its flowers (usual catmint flowers are violet). Gray-green, serrate, ovate leaves (to 1” long) on purplish stems are highly aromatic when crushed or bruised. Two-lipped, aromatic, lilac flowers (1/ 2” long) clustered in branching spikes bloom from May to July. An additional light late summer to fall bloom may occur under proper growing conditions and with proper shearing of spent flowers. The leaves of this species are reportedly much less enticing to cats than those leaves of the true catnip, Nepeta cataria. The origin and native range of Nepeta longipes is unknown. The Royal Horticultural Society reports that this plant is probably a garden hybrid involving Nepeta multibracteata.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for certain aromatic plants that included catmint.  It  may honor the city of Nepete (known as Nepi today) located north of Rome in Etruria which was the ancient country located between the Arno and Tiber Rivers and was recognized, prior to the rise of Rome, as the center of the Etruscan civilization.

Specific epithet means long-stalked.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Borders, herb gardens or naturalized plantings.