Nepeta subsessilis 'Washfield'
Common Name: nepeta 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Species plants perform best in cool, moist soils and generally lack the drought tolerance typical of most other nepetas. In northern areas, site plants in full sun. In the deep South, site plants in areas with some light afternoon shade. Plants may be cut back before first flowering to promote more compact size. Shear flower spikes after initial flowering to promote continued bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Nepeta subsessilis typically grows in a mound to 2-3’ tall. Showy spikes of bell-shaped, deep violet-blue flowers (to 2" long) with maroon spots bloom in dense false whorls atop square, leafy stems clad with aromatic, toothed, green foliage. Long summer bloom period. Although Nepeta cataria is the true catnip which house cats love, the leaves of this species are also attractive, albeit it less so, to cats.

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.

‘Washfield’ typically grows to a more compact 28” tall and to 36" wide. It is noted for its large (for nepetas) blue flowers and glossy dark green leaves. Two-lipped flowers (each to 3/4” long) appear in dense false whorls over a long bloom period of late spring to late summer. Flowers have a pleasant minty fragrance. Ovate, glossy, dark green leaves also have a mild minty fragrance when crushed or bruised.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Rock gardens, borders, herb gardens or naturalized plantings.