Calamintha arkansana

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: calamint 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to October
Bloom Description: White to rose purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies


Best grown in neutral to slightly alkaline, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Also tolerates some poor soils. Generally prefers moist soils with good drainage, but some plants do well in the drier soils found in limestone glades. Plants may spread in the garden by stolons and/or self-seeding. Shear or cut back plants after flowering to tidy the planting, to remove unsightly foliage and/or to prevent any unwanted self-seeding. Easily grown from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Calamintha arkansana, commonly called calamint, is a rhizomatous perennial of the mint family that typically forms a dense, low-growing foliage mat with upright, leafy flowering stems rising to 12” tall. This is an aromatic plant that flowers from May to October. It is native from Ontario to Minnesota south to New York, Ohio, Illinois, Arkansas and Texas. In Missouri, it typically occurs in limestone glades, bluffs, bald knobs, wet meadows and stream gravel bars in the Ozark region of the state (Steyermark). Runners (stolons) clad with oval to elliptic leaves creep along the ground rooting at the nodes to form mats of foliage. Flowering shoots, clad with small, opposite, linear leaves, rise 8-12” tall bearing tiny two-lipped white to rose purple flowers on stalks from the leaf axils. Main flowering occurs June-July with additional more sporadic bloom into fall. Calamint leaves are extremely fragrant when crushed. Synonymous with and formerly known as Satureja arkansana. Additional common names for this plant include wild savory, Ozark calamint and Arkansas mint.

Genus name comes from Greek kalos meaning beautiful and mimthe meaning mint. Kalaminthe means savory.

Specific epithet means of Arkansas.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, border fronts, open woodlands and native plant areas.