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Nepeta cataria

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MINT FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub [tree, vine], glabrous to hairy, generally aromatic. Stem: generally erect, generally 4-angled. Leaf: generally simple to deeply lobed, generally opposite, generally gland-dotted. Inflorescence: generally cymes, generally many in dense axillary clusters surrounding stem, generally separated by evident internodes or collectively crowded, spike- or panicle-like, occasionally head-like or raceme, subtended by leaves or bracts; flowers sessile or pedicelled. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx generally 5-lobed, radial to bilateral; corolla generally bilateral, 1--2-lipped, upper lip entire or 2-lobed, +- flat to hood-like, occasionally 0, lower lip generally 3-lobed; stamens generally 4, epipetalous, generally exserted, paired, pairs generally unequal, occasionally 2, staminodes 2 or 0; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed to base chambers 2, ovules 2 per chamber, style 1, generally arising from center at junction of lobes, stigmas generally 2. Fruit: generally 4 nutlets, generally ovoid to oblong, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 230 genera, 7200 species: worldwide. Many cultivated for herbs, oils (Lavandula, lavender; Mentha, mint; Rosmarinus, rosemary; Thymus, thyme), some cultivated as ornamental (in California Cedronella, Leonotis, Monarda, Phlomis). Note: Moluccella laevis L., shell flower, historical waif in California. Satureja calamintha (L.) Scheele subsp. ascendens (Jordan) Briq. reported as alien but not naturalized. Salazaria moved to Scutellaria; California Hyptis moved to Condea, California Satureja moved to Clinopodium.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken & Margriet Wetherwax, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: NepetaView Description 

Habit: [Annual], perennial herb, glabrous to hairy. Stem: erect, generally branched. Leaf: generally petioled. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, head- or spike-like, occasionally panicle, flower clusters subtended by leaves or bracts. Flower: calyx +- radial, +- 15-veined, lobes generally +- equal; corolla 2-lipped, upper lip +- 2-lobed, < lower, hood-like, lower lip 3-lobed, central lobe > lateral lobes; stamens 4, enclosed by or exceeding upper lip. Fruit: nutlets smooth to rough.
Species In Genus: +- 250 species: Eurasia, Africa. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name for catnip)
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken

Nepeta cataria L.
Habit: Plant < 1.5 m. Stem: short-hairy to canescent. Leaf: 1.5--7.5 cm; petiole < blade; blade wide-lanceolate to ovate, base lobed, margin crenate to serrate, adaxially short-hairy, abaxially densely short-appressed-hairy. Inflorescence: lower short-peduncled, subtended by leaves, upper subtended by short linear bracts. Flower: calyx 5--6 mm, short-hairy, lobes stiff, acuminate; corolla 6--10 mm, puberulent, white, lower lip purple-spotted, central lobe minutely crenate; upper stamens > lower. Chromosomes: 2n=36.
Ecology: Moist, generally shaded areas; Elevation: < 1300 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, eastern United States; native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: Jul--Sep
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken
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Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken 2016. Nepeta cataria, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Nepeta cataria
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© 2010 Barry Breckling

More photos of Nepeta cataria in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Nepeta cataria:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.