Name: Clinopodium nepeta, aka Calamintha nepetoides, aka Calamintha nepeta subspecies nepeta, aka (are we tired yet?) lesser calamint.
Type of Plant: A low-maintenance perennial hardy in zones 5 to 7, that thrives in full sun.
Why I love this: I got this plant some 18 years ago because Kathy Tracy, of Avant Gardens, listed it as one of her “must have perennials.” She was right. Unfortunately it’s not as commonly found and planted as it should be.
White to pale lilac flowers for a long time from mid-summer into fall. A pleasing round shape from April to late October…no deadheading, no trimming, no work at all.
This perennial attracts pollinators like Donald Trump attracts birther/Hillary’s-Health conspiracists. (Sorry – sign of the times.) At any given time I will spot several species of bees and wasps on this perennial and my garden is constantly buzzing because of the Clinopodium.
A Word to the Wise: Don’t confuse this plant with catmint – it’s not the same. Although it’s commonly called calamint, it’s not related to Nepeta. It does, like Nepeta, do well in sunny, not-so-wet (although not totally dry) conditions.