Nepeta L. is a genus in the Lamiaceae family with 250 to 300 species native to northern Africa and the temperate and subtropical regions of Eurasia. As some species are quite drought tolerant they are popular in public plantings, which also helped them to naturalize in North America, New Zealand and temperate South America. Commonly known as catnip or cat mint, some species contain a substance which makes house cats euphoric and is often used in cat toys. Some species are also aromatic in human perception, but usually less so than the closely related Mentha. Few species are annuals, most are herbaceous perennials. We only have species with tuberous roots on the Wiki.
Nepeta tuberosa L. is a tuberous catnip species from the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, and Algeria, with slender upright spikes of purple flowers in dense verticillasters with pinkish-grey bracts. The spikes only branch on rather strong cultivated specimens, but rarely in habitat. All parts of the plant are covered with fine hairs, adding a silver tone to the leaves as well. The fleshy roots have notable constrictions every 1- 1.5 cm.
The plants shown here were grown by Martin Bohnet from seed donated in EX01 by Johannes-Ulrich Urban, collected in Portugal. They have no effect on Martin's cats and only have a barely noticeable scent. The smaller specimens have survived a rather mild German winter outdoors; the bigger one in photo 2 is potted and was kept barely frost-free.