Plant Image
Flower spike

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Nepeta cataria - catmint

Other Common Names: catnip
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Lamiaceae

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Leaves and flowers
Usage Rights: CC BY-NC (Attribution-Non-Commercial)
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Herbaceous perennial 1 to 3 feet tall and wide. Stem is square, characteristic of plants in the mint family. Leaves are heart-shaped and aromatic when crushed. Leaves and stems are covered in downy hairs. Dense spikes of flowers form at ends of stems.
Identification notes: Calyx tube ± 15-veined; calyx 5-lobed; upper 2 stamens longer than lower 2; flower bracts green, withering, generally longer than flowers, often lance-shaped or wider. Stamens not clearly exceeding lower corolla lobes.
Height: 1 to 3 feet


Habitat Description: Oak and pine forest, moist shaded areas, stream banks, roadsides, waste places.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 4000 - 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White to purplish     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: May - Sep
Description: Flowers are 1/2 inch long and have 5 petals united into a 2-lipped tube. The upper lip consists of 2 lobes while the lower lip has 3 lobes and is larger and more spotted than the upper lip. Flowers are white to pale lavender with purple spots.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Triangular     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are opposite, hairy, triangular or heart shaped and have pointed tips. The upper surface is pale green and the lower surface is so densely covered with hairs that it appears whitish. Leaf edges are serrated like the toothed edge of a saw blade.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Brown   
Fruit Type: Nutlet
Fruit Notes: The fruit is brown in color with a smooth surface. Each flower produces a nutlet containing 4 seeds.
Seed Notes: Tiny seeds are oval, smooth, and reddish brown with 2 white spots at one end.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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