How can you tell the difference between catnip and catmint?

silybum(Sunset 16/z8b)June 20, 2005

I'm not sure which I have. Are both herbs that can be used in the same way anyway?

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breezyb(z6/7VA)

With the ones I've grown, catnip is taller with an upright growth habit. Small pinkish white flowers, sort of like basil flowers in type. Medium/large serrated triangular leaves. Can get scraggly late in the season. Scent is decidedly musky. Makes most cats nutso.

My catmint on the other hand, has a mounding growth habit, attractive purple flowers, small serrated rounded triangular leaves, & has a much less musky scent to it. All of my cats have absolutely no interest in it whatsoever.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 1:14PM
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silybum(Sunset 16/z8b)

Mine has purple flowers. I have it in a wine barrel, and it drapes/hangs over the side, definetly not growing upright, so so I think it must be the catmint. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 9:33PM
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breezyb(z6/7VA)

Oh, & to answer your 2nd question - I've used both catnip & catmint in herbal teas. Both are nice with a touch of honey & lemon. They are supposed to be especially good when you have a cold.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 10:19PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

I've never used my catmint as tea, but love the catmint and the way it will bloom over and over if dead-headed and pruned back into the foliage. My mounds get very large doing this. I have the plain ol' species Nepeta mussinii. I've heard the tea has calming qualities...what is your take on this?

Vera

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 10:54PM
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breezyb(z6/7VA)

I can't validate its supposed calming qualities, since I've only made the tea when I've had a cold, which made me already subdued - lol!!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 11:00PM
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silybum(Sunset 16/z8b)

Thanks for heads up on the pruning. It sounds like my sage, which when pruned after flowering, it blooms again. I will start to harvest & dry whenvever I prune, and use t for tea's, etc.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 5:38PM
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Molineux(6b)

I love catmint tea. I also love catmint as a border plant for my roses. You do need to keep an eye on it as this stuff will become invasive if not sheered back - something that I don't mind because of the nice minty fragrance. Oh and one last word. If you spray your roses don't use the catmint you have growing next to it as a tea herb. Lord knows we are exposed to more than enough chemicals already.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 7:29AM
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shortarse_hedgewitch(8)

hmm, i think i have catnip myself, its lemony (probably lemon scented catnip) upright growth but with triangular serated leaves, its been threataning me with flowers for weeks now and is covered in buds, but none have opened.

i think it has pinky-purpley flowers.

i bought it last year and it grew about 6" tall and had many stems, this year only 1 stem, but that stem is about 2'6" and branched all over with flower buds covering it.

i gave some to one of the cats to test it for reactivity, (not all cats are reactive to catnip) it took hte leaf, sniffed it, picked it up, chewed it. i thought oh its releasing the scent. nope it hten ate the leafe made a choking noise and wandered off.

??? *is confused by foolish cat*

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 10:12AM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Here is a pic of my Catmint taken shortly after it was deadheaded and pruned back...just beginning to re-bloom....

Yes, it does self-sow a bit, but seedlings are easy to dig up and move or pot-up and give away :)

Vera

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 11:04AM
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breezyb(z6/7VA)

Catnip flowers are white shaded with a very little bit of pink. And the leaves are decidedly musky. I think you have Catmint rather than Catnip.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 1:01PM
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