Nepeta x faassenii* /Mint Family
Height: 6" to 24"
June 4, 2005
This really was a roadside plant, I found it growing by a bridge on a walking trail along Melton Hill Drive in Oak Ridge. The individual flowers of this plant are pretty with the purple spots. Catnip flowers can be white or pale violet, they have purple dots on the lip. The leaves have small hairs which give them a grayish look, this is a good field identification trait. I smelled a leaf, it is aromatic, but not especially pleasant for a mint. Being a serious cat-allergy sufferer, I avoid them as much as possible, so I've never seen a cat under the influence of Catnip. However, I've heard that they love it and it makes them act crazy. One website I checked stated that Catnip contains nepetalactone, which could be considered "a legal recreational drug for cats"! This plant is not as inticing to cats as true Catnip.
Where seen: Oak Ridge