Catnip cat (catnip)
Cat mint has green or gray-green foliage located on straight, branched stems. Light green stems covered with small hairs. Mint leaves have rough edges, and their front and back surfaces are also covered with fine hairs. In winter, the plant "hibernates," and in early spring fresh stems appear. In ideal conditions, the plant can grow up to 90 cm in height. A feline flower may bloom from late spring to autumn, and in general, the flowering period can last from one to two months.
Small flowers are born in densely overflowed whorls on the spike-like terminal brushes.
Two-lipped flowers of white color with pale purple or pink spots on the lower lip, are typical of the mint family. The small upper lip has two lobes, while the lower one includes three: with a larger middle lobe and a frill. Bees of all kinds, as well as flies and many different types of butterflies, visit flowers with nectar. Pruning after the initial flowering contributes to the re-flowering of the cat's catnip.
Once the grass was widely used for medicinal purposesHowever, today this method of application is not very common.
Scientists have also proven that the active ingredient in mint leaves is an excellent deterrent to mosquitoes, although it is ineffective when applied to the skin. The foliage can be used in fresh or dried form for brewing herbal tea or used as a culinary herb.
Cat's catnip extremely easy to grow. Mint blooms profusely in full sun and in well-drained soil, but able to survive in partial shade and on poor soils.
The level of soil moisture and fertility greatly affect the size of the plant. Grass is easily propagated by seed or by dividing the bushes. The best time to harvest - The end of the summerwhen the plant is in full bloom.
Store dried mint in tightly closed containers. Dried leaves retain their flavor. However, during long-term storage, the attractiveness for cats decreases as the essential oils evaporate from them. Should be consideredthat the plant can be damaged by domestic cats, which will find its storage place. Therefore, some gardeners propose to cover the mint with a decorative cage, others recommend growing the plant in a hanging basket.
Kotovnik Mussini - a perennial plant, common on the dry rocky slopes of the Caucasus. Maximum bush height - 40 cm. Leaves - thin, wrinkled, green or grayish-green shade.
Purple flowers are collected in one-sided brush. The grass contains 0.2-0.5% of essential oil, in the leaves - 0.25%. The oil has a sharp mint-camphor smell. Propagated its seeds, the germination of which takes from 18 to 30 days. Planted plant in late summer. The blooming period of the blue catnip is stretched enough (from March to September).
Grass does not require special care., it is enough to apply a little standard fertilizer to the soil and water it from time to time. Pruning flowering stems is recommended in sunny weather, at the end of the flowering season.
Cut stalks and leaves are laid out to be dried with a thin layer in special dryers or under a canopy. Dried herbs are stored in paper bags in a dry ventilated place.
Apply dried catnip Mussini as a spice for salting fish. In addition, dried herbs are used as a seasoning for various dishes.
Large-flowered cattle (Siberian)
Large-flowered cattle - perennial medicinal plant. The height of the grass can reach 50 cm. The bracts have a blue-purple hue.
The leaves are rather thin. The corolla is fluffy and colored a violet-blue color. The length of the corolla is about 17 mm. Grass blooms in the second half of June, and fruit ripening begins in the first half of July. The plant grows on forest edges, meadows and grassy slopes. Under natural conditions, this catnip is found in Ukraine (Zaporozhye Region, Crimea), in the Baltic States, in the Caucasus, as well as in the European part of the Russian Federation and in Siberia. This variety of catnip is also often called Siberian.
Flowers, stems and leaves of grass are endowed with many healing properties, which is explained by the presence of essential oil and iridoids in its composition.
Infusion prepared on the basis of large-flowered catnip, it is recommended to drink as an anti-inflammatory and tonic.
Multi-thread cattle - grass-covered perennial plant. It occurs on steep slopes and open meadows. Geographical area: Mongolia and most of the regions of the Russian Federation.
Stems of grass are simple or little branched. Plant height reaches 50 cm. The leaves are located on short petioles, divided into 3 or 5 parts. Spike-shaped inflorescences. The leaves in the zone of inflorescence are oval, pointed, woolly, bluish above.
Cups have bulging hairs and sedentary amber glands. The corollas are twice as long as the calyx, painted in a blue-purple tone.
Yezk catnip is an aromatic perennial, reaching a height of 100 cm. Stems are thick and straight. The leaves are located on the petioles up to 2 cm long. Flowers of the Izek catnip are located in false whorls, at the very top of the shoot.
Umbrella axis - thick-haired. The length of the flowers - up to 30-35 mm. Bracts narrow-lanceolate-linear, with long pubescent hairs.
Calyx - tubular, bent, with long soft teeth, has a bluish tint. The corolla is double-lipped, with a thin violet-blue tube. The corolla is thick-haired outside. Fruits are smooth, obovate, pubescent at the top, about 3 mm long. It blooms in late summer (in August), and bears fruit in September.
Kotovnik Fassena - low ground cover perennial. From other varieties of catnip, this plant is distinguished by narrower leaves. Brush inflorescences - blue or pink. Attractive foliage has a grayish-green tint.
Plant very unpretentious, demonstrates early, abundant and long flowering (throughout the summer season). Kotovnik undemanding to the composition of the soil. And thanks to its drought tolerance, he feels great in sunny places. However, the plant can successfully flourish in light penumbra.
Kotovnik Fassena reaches 40-50 cm tall and all the plants are quite fragrant. This variety is ideal for decorating borders, flowerbeds, rockeries.
Since it is saturated with aromatic essential oils, its flowers and leaves attract healthy insects to the garden. It is also recommended for growing in pots and other containers and is suitable for landscaping roofs.
Ancestral cattle - undersized groundcover. The height of the perennial - only 25-30 cm. The leaves are pale green. The flowers have a blue tint and are collected in inflorescences. It blooms very abundant and long (from June to October). In addition, pruning faded parts of the bush enhances further flowering. Perennial seed well propagated. Grass pretty unpretentious, drought-resistant and frost-resistant.
Shrubs prefer sunny places and well drained sandy soils. But do not forget to cut the bushes after the flowering period.
A week after pruning, you will again see abundant blooms. This herb is not sick and is very attractive for butterflies.
Kokand catnip - a variety that grows in high-mountain meadows at an altitude of 4000 m. The plant can be found in Central Asia and in China. Stems - numerous, straight, strongly branched, 10-40 cm tall. Together with the leaves they are covered with hairs.
Flowers - lilac-purple. Leaves - ovate, with jagged edges, painted in light green tones. The plant blooms in late summer (July-August), and bears fruit in August. The plant has a sharp mint flavor. He needs semi-shaded location humus-rich land. The seeds are planted in spring, and the first shoots appear at a temperature of +18. +20 ° C. The plant is also propagated by dividing the bush and cuttings. Breeding is carried out at the beginning or at the end of spring.
Semi-Fold Catnip It is a large plant with blue or purple flowers. The habitat of the plant is rather narrow: Japan (Honshu, Shikoku) and the Russian Federation (Kuriles-Kunashir). Occurs on dry mixed grass slopes of the mountains.
The height of the bushes is 30-40 cm. The flowers are blue-blue and the leaves are gray-green. Large flowers are collected in inflorescences (false whorls). The length of the umbrella is 10 cm. In each inflorescence there are 50-60 flowers. The grass has a pleasant smell, reminiscent of the smell of lemon mint - lemon balm. Bloom period: June-August (blooms in July, and the fruits ripen in September). It is unpretentious in cultivation, suitable for planting in open areas.
By planting this plant in your garden, you will never talk about it. you will not regret: it blooms profusely and grows rapidly. Catnip bushes are able to decorate any garden or sunny garden.
Many people confuse this plant with melissa. How to distinguish them, you will see in this video.
Cattle can be propagated by seed and vegetatively. Seeds are sown on seedlings in April and May in open ground. For spring sowing, cold stratification is necessary. Seeds germinate slowly, 1-3 weeks at a temperature of + 16 + 22 o C. Shoots are thinned at a distance of at least 30 cm, not one plant can be set aside in each nest. For cutting greens use plants of the second year of life.
Division, as for any youngsters, is required every 3-5 years. They divide the plants in May, at the beginning of the growth of the stems.
Reproduction by stem cuttings in May or green cuttings (tops) in early summer is also possible. You can try to multiply the layering - catnip feline, for example, very well rooted.
Kotovnik Fassena and its varieties propagate only vegetatively.
Kotovnik unpretentious to the soil, satisfied with average fertility. From the autumn they make a small amount of compost or humus; in the spring they are fed with complex mineral fertilizer. Excess fertilizer leads to the development of a large green mass to the detriment of flowering. The acidity of the soil must be kept slightly acidic or neutral. Sour soil - deoxidized dolomite flour in the fall when making humus.
Most catnip drought-resistant, easily tolerates dry periods, but the quality of greenery and flowering is higher with regular watering. Water should not remain, especially in winter, therefore, raised beds or simply drained places are required. With winter overmoistening, plants can vypryvat. Catnip catnip is especially common in winter, but it recovers well from seed by self-sowing.
The cat's cattle, planted in the sun, blooms in the year of sowing, ends the growing season very quickly and dies off in the autumn, i.e. behaves like a true malice. If you want him to survive for several years - plant him in partial shade. For other species it is better to choose a sunny place.
Half-eel Kotovnik - a plant of river banks, needs good moisture supply.
Plant care is minimal. It is necessary to prune the flowering inflorescences (in the middle of the stem) in time for the flowering to resume. Many catnipers bloom in the fall again, although less abundantly.
Fragrant catnip is best planted at the tracks and places of rest. They will make a good pair of roses. Low-growing species and varieties can be grown in containers.
Fresh and dried leaves of the plant are used for refreshing and healing teas. They have a high content of vitamin C, a calming effect, help with colds, cough, fever, stomach ulcers, improve appetite, baths with catnip help with skin diseases. Kotovnik safe for children.
Photo: Rita Brilliantova, Maxim Minin
Genus: Kotovnik (Nepeta)
Family: Cluster (Laminaceae)
Rod Kotovnik according to different sources from 200 to 250 species.
There is no exact information about the origin of the genus name, but the smell of this plant attracts cats and cats.
Most of all our favorites prefer catnip (Nepeta cataria).
This plant cheers up not only cats, in aromatherapy oil from its herbs and flowers is used as a means to relax and raise the emotional tone of a person.
In ancient Egypt, there was a cult of the goddess Bast, which had the appearance of a woman with a cat's head. She was revered as the patroness of fun, home and fertility, and near the dedicated goddess temples, where many sacred animals roamed the cat, they grew catnip. According to the legend, those who dared to pinch the cherished grass for their purposes, were threatened with the death penalty.
Since the Middle Ages, catnip has been famous plants with magical properties. It was believed that with the help of the dried stems of the catnip you can easily bewitch your loved one, you just need to put a sachet of fragrant grass under his pillow. But there is other evidence, for example, that witches used catnip powder to cause evil spirits and gain power over animals.
For the most part, catnip are rhizomatous perennials with erect or lodging stems and small oval or lanceolate leaves, often of a bluish tint. Small, but numerous flowers, collected in elongated paniculate inflorescences, turn the flowering curtain of these plants into fluffy, bright clouds of violet, bluish or pinkish shades.
In flower beds, aromatic gardens and ornamental gardens from the entire rich list of catnip species are usually planted 6 species, which, however, there are many interesting varieties.
The catnip mentioned above with white or pale lilac flowers looks very modest compared to tall, bright purple Siberian or even more powerful. catnip grandiflora and hothouse with blue buds. The height of these plants can reach 1 m.
The most popular plants of this genus are miniature. it Catnip Fassin (Nepeta x faassenii), it is in the photo below, with slightly drooping peduncles 40 - 50 cm high.
They can be lilac, mauve, white or blue, such as in the ‘Six Hills Giant’ variety.
Kotovnik Musina with bluish-purple flowers does not rise above 20-30 cm.
The healing properties of the catnip
Kotovnik is famous as a medicine for many ailments, it is taken in case of diseases of the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory and nervous systems. Broths and tinctures of catnip feline have analgesic, antiseptic, antipyretic and firming effect, help with skin and female diseases.
Kotovnik has a highly branched, woody rhizome. Above the ground is a tall stem with lateral processes. Shoots have upright or sloping shape. The bush can grow up to 25-100 cm in height. On the stem and petioles there is thick pubescence. Oval leaves are located opposite. They are oval or heart-shaped with a serrate edge.
In the middle of June, spike inflorescences bloom at the ends of the shoots. Asymmetric buds are painted in purple, purple or white. There are purple and purple dots on the throat and lip. After pollination of flowers the fruits ripen - seed boxes. Each contains rounded nuts with a smooth brown surface. If the catnip is mowed after flowering, then by the end of August a second wave of flowering will occur.
During the growing season and flowering, various essential oils are synthesized in the plant, therefore at different times the smell of catnip is different. In the spring, it smells like geraniums or roses, and later a pronounced lemon scent appears.
Types of catnip
The genus of catnip unites more than 250 species of plants. All of them are suitable for cultivation in culture, but most often in gardens there are only a few species.
Catnip. The erect, branched stalks of the plant reach a height of 0.4-1 m. They are covered with brownish, fuzzy bark. Egg-shaped leaves 2-8 cm long are painted in bright green color. Crusiform loose inflorescences consist of white buds with purple specks. The diameter of the corolla is 0.7-1 cm. The plant has a spicy lemon scent and is very popular with felines. The variety suffers from severe frosts, but is quickly restored by abundant self seeding.
Kotovnik Fassena. Herbaceous plant up to 30 cm tall covered with light green narrow leaves. Differs unpretentious character. During the period of long flowering (June-September) it is abundantly covered with dirty-white flowers.
Kotovnik Mussini. Stunted, groundcover form with a height of not more than 20 cm. Pubescent stems hiding under the broad bright green leaves. Длинные лавандовые соцветия распускаются в июне и сохраняются до морозов.They exude an intense mint flavor.
Lemon cattle The height of the densely foliar shrub is 40-100 cm. The upright, hard stems are covered with velvety pubescence. The bluish leaves of the heart-shaped form grow by 2-8 cm in length. In the spike-shaped inflorescences there are bluish-purple double-lipped flowers, their petals are covered with purple specks.
Kotovnik krupnotsvetkovy (Siberian). Upright stems with a height of 0.6-1 m covered with short pubescence. On them are located oblong-lanceolate light green leaves with a length of 5-15 cm. Loose spicate inflorescences consist of purple cups 2.5-3.5 cm in diameter.
Catnip breeding possible seed and vegetative methods. Seeds due to low germination is better to sow on seedlings. At the end of March, sandy-peat soil is prepared in greenhouses or boxes. For sowing, grooves are made with a depth of 1 cm at a distance of 5-8 cm from each other. The first shoots appear on day 6-7 after planting, but not uniformly. Until 4-5 true leaves grow, seedlings develop very slowly. Then you should pick out the seedlings in separate peat or plastic pots. By the fiftieth day, the height of the seedlings reaches 10 cm, which means that the seedlings are ready for transplanting into open ground. Between the rows it is necessary to keep a distance of 60-70 cm, and between bushes - 20-40 cm.
Large plants during the spring can be divided. To do this, they are completely dug out and carefully release the rhizome from the earthy coma. The roots are separated by hands, each case should contain several points of growth. Seedlings immediately planted in a new place. Before planting, the soil is well digged and fertilized.
Planting and care
Land for catnip begin to cook in the fall. It is necessary to choose a place with a light and fertile soil. The allotted area dig and fertilize. In each m² of land are used:
- compost (up to 3 kg),
- ammonium nitrate (15-20 g),
- superphosphate (20-30 g),
- potassium sulfate (5-10 g).
After the snow melts, the ground is carefully loosened and seedlings are planted. In the southern areas it is possible to carry out crops immediately in open ground before winter or in early spring.
Care for a cattery does not require much effort. Unpretentious plant is actively growing, so you have to make sure that it does not leave the designated area.
The plant develops better in well-lit areas or in small shade. It is not afraid of drafts and daily temperature drops. Watering should be moderate. In a severe drought, catnip slows growth, although it retains decorativeness. But with regular flooding of the soil the roots rot.
After flowering is recommended to pruning at half the height of the shoots. In only a month they will grow back significantly and by September the bloom will repeat.
In snowy, not too harsh winters, the catnip can be left without shelter. If severe frosts are expected, it is better to cover the thickets of fallen leaves and lapnik. In spring, vegetation is fertilized with mineral compounds with a high nitrogen content. On fertile soils regular feeding is not needed. If necessary, you can fertilize the plant once a month with a small portion of mineral or organic fertilizers.
Kotovnik resistant to plant diseases and pests. In rainy weather powdery mildew can develop. Sometimes cicadas settle on bushes. Insects do not do much harm to the plant. If the preparation of medicinal raw materials is intended, treatment with chemicals should be avoided.
Composition and medicinal properties
The ground parts of the catnip contains a large amount of essential oils and bioactive substances. Among them:
The highest concentration of beneficial components is achieved during the flowering period. It is then that produce raw materials.
The range of useful properties of the catnip is very large. It is used not only in folk, but also in official medicine. Catnip-based preparations have bactericidal, stimulating, tonic, diuretic, and sedative effects. The crushed grass is dried and used for the preparation of decoctions.
It is important to remember that catnip has not only useful properties, but also contraindications. It can not be used during pregnancy or lactation, as well as in the presence of allergies and tachycardias.
- In the garden. Thick thickets of catnip with blue-violet flowers are widely used in landscape design. Low plants form a solid fragrant carpet. High species are planted along fences, paths or on combined flower beds. The best neighbors for catnip are lavender, sage, geranium, iris, yarrow, stonecrop, oregano, decorative onions and others.
- On the kitchen. Young shoots of catnip are eaten as a fragrant dressing for sauce or salad. Also, the plant is used in marinade for fish, in confectionery and home alcoholic beverages.