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Calamintha nepeta - (L.)Savi.

Common Name Lesser Calamint
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry banks, usually on calcareous soils[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, south from France and S. Russia to N. Africa and to Iran in W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Calamintha nepeta Lesser Calamint


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Calamintha nepeta Lesser Calamint
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Calamintha nepeta is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

Satureia nepeta.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

The leaves have a strong pennyroyal-like fragrance and are more pungent than calamint (C. sylvatica)[183]. They can be used as a flavouring[183]. A sweet and aromatic herb tea is made from the leaves[200].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Aromatic;  Diaphoretic;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Stomachic.

Lesser calamint was commonly used as a medicinal herb in medieval times, though is little used by modern herbalists[238]. It is sometimes cultivated as a medicinal herb for household use. The whole plant is aromatic, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge and stomachic[4, 148]. The leaves are harvested in July as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use[4]. An infusion is beneficial in cases of flatulent colic and weaknesses of the stomach[4], it is also used to treat depression, insomnia and painful menstruation[238]. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women since in excess it can cause a miscarriage[238].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a well-drained dry to moist neutral to alkaline soil and a warm sunny position[200, 238]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[187]. This species is very closely related to C. sylvatica, and is considered to be no more than a sub-species by some botanists[4]. A very good bee plant[187].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. It usually germinates in 2 weeks at 21°c[138]. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and, if they grow sufficiently, plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer otherwise wait until the following spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be planted direct into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are well rooted before planting them out in the summer. Basal cuttings in May or June. They should be rooted in a sandy compost[245]. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Calamintha grandifloraLarge-Flowered Calamint22
Calamintha sylvaticaCalamint, Woodland calamint32

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Savi.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Sergio   Tue Dec 5 2006

Last week ,I have found this plant in the Eolian Islands, where it is used to prepare a tincture, very useful to cure insects punctures

[email protected]   Sat Dec 2 2006

Last week ,I have found this plant in the Eolian Islands, where it is used to prepare a tincture, very useful to cure insects punctures

   Mar 18 2013 12:00AM

18/03/2013: I'm just having my first cup of Lesser Calamint (with Chinese green tea), from the trimmings of the very few cuttings I just made. It has a very mild minty flavor, with none of the resinous bitterness of our local Calamintha incana. The few seeds I collected in Paris' Jardin des Plantes were sown at the beginning of last November, and the plants have been growing very slowly since, with a creeping habit reminiscent of the Blue Mint Bush. I hope the cuttings I made will take root, since this plant really deserves to be given away to as many friends as possible!

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Subject : Calamintha nepeta  
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