Creating harmony, simplicity and peace in the landscape......

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace. "

May Sarton
________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

'Montrose White' Calamint - Unbelievably Great Perennial Plant

  
Remember this name:  Calamintha nepeta 'Montrose White'


This plant, I predict, will soon be a 'Perennial Plant of the Year'. Why? because it is a great, hardy (to USDA zone 4)  and delightful flowering perennial plant...and it is deer resistant.  YAY!

Calamintha nepeta spp nepeta 'Montrose White' was named by Mike Yanny of Johnson’s Nursery in Menomonee Falls, Wis.  Yanny’s wife purchased the calamint from Nancy Goodwin at Montrose Nursery. Yanny saw that the plant thrived and bloomed under benign neglect and came back every year as strong as ever. He asked Goodwin if he could name and patent this particular calamint ‘Montrose White.’ She agreed.


‘Montrose White’ is a compact, clump-forming, 9 -16” high plant that is covered with tiny white flowers from June until frost.  When temperatures fall in autumn the flowers turn lightly lavender. It does not get floppy and has very fragrant leaves.


Calamintha is an herb that's native to Europe and is known there as 'lesser calamint'. It is used in cooking in Italy under the name nepitella. It has a strong flavor and is said to combine well with wild mushrooms, artichokes and pork. (this info from Marie Viljoen).

'Montrose White' calamint loves full sun and well-drained soil. It will not tolerate wet soils so let it dry out between waterings.  It has no special fertilizer or pH requirements.


The best thing about this flowering plant, besides the fact that it roots from cuttings in a few weeks, is that it is sterile! This means that no seed heads are formed and no seeds are produced thus it always looks great! Important: it does not self sow as the straight calamint species does.

'Montrose White’ is ideal for shrub borders, containers and as an edging plant. They bloom all summer and if you plant it near a path and brush against the foliage, you will smell an instant scent of strong peppermint. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are crazy for it. In bloom, Montrose white looks like a  summer snow flurry.

This short plant is a drought tolerant species that looks fabulous planted beneath taller summer flowers such as  Echinaceas, Phlox, Perovskia and shrub roses.    It also looks fantastic in front of grasses and with any blue colored plant.

All in all, a deer proof plant that rewards us with flowers, scent and a long blooming season... award winner, for sure.

5 comments:

  1. Jan, I do love this plant, but if it is anything like the Calamintha that I had, you could not walk by it in the summer because it was loaded with black wasps. I finally pulled it because it was too close to the pool that I had set out for my grandchildren.

    Now if this is a variety that does not attract insects, I am all for it. But if not, it would not be my choice for a pathway or an up close and personal location.

    Eileen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, just added it to my garden notebook.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Eileen -
    you are definitely right - it is a pollinating insect magnet....do not plant near pools or kids play areas - But perhaps beneath roses, set within a boxwood hedge or along a path.

    Beverly - yes it looks great even in fall.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I saw this plant for the first time on a business trip to Wisconsin in August. It was blooming away, and covered with bees of many types. I returned to the same location on another trip in October, and it was still in bloom. It took a while to find out what it was, but now that I know, I'm definitely going to find some space to plant one!

    Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is a calamint like other mints and is an agressive grower?
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! I would love to hear from you....