Clinopodium arkansanum

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: limestone calamint 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Central and eastern United States, Ontario
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White to light purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

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. Hardy in Zones 4-8.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Clinopodium arkansanum, commonly called limestone 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. 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. The leaves are extremely fragrant when crushed. Additional common names for this plant include wild savory, Ozark calamint and Arkansas mint.

The genus name Clinopodium comes from Greek and means "like a bed's foot" in reference to the knob-shaped flowers.

The specific epithet arkansanum means "of Arkansas" and refers to part of the native range of this species.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

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