Calamintha Nepeta

Published On: August 11th, 2020

Calamintha nepeta ssp nepeta* has been selected as the Perennial Plant Association’s 2021 Perennial Plant of the Year®.

*We proudly offer an outstanding clonal selection of Calamintha nepeta ssp. nepeta that we named ‘Montrose White’ (more below).

montrose white calamintha in summer flowers profile mounded compact perennial

The Perennial Plant Association, a national organization of professional growers, each year selects a Perennial Plant of the Year®. This award is especially meaningful as plants are nominated and voted on by PPA members, who are among the most knowledgeable perennial experts in the country.

Nominations generally need to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Suitability for a wide range of climatic conditions
  • Low-maintenance requirements
  • Relative pest- and disease-resistance
  • Ready availability in the year of promotion
  • Multiple seasons of ornamental interest

Calamintha ‘Montrose White’ passes each of these criteria with flying colors! It’s a staff favorite of ours, and it thrills us to see it achieve National recognition. We sing this plant’s praises at every opportunity and countless customers thank us for introducing them to this outstanding perennial. It’s a plant that you cannot help but love.

While each individual flower on ‘Montrose White’ is tiny, they are borne in abundance. Petite white blossoms cover the entire plant from mid-summer through frost. It produces flowers all along the slender, upright stems that grow in a distinctly circular form from their central base. The overall effect is one of an airy, white cloud.

The diminutive grey-green leaves emit a delicate minty fragrance that deters both deer and rabbits. While a member of the mint Family, ‘Montrose White’ exhibits none of the bad habits sometimes associated with that Family. This plant does not run from the roots, but rather forms a tidy clump that increases modestly from the base each year. It’s also sterile, so it doesn’t self-sow as some other members of this Family are prone to do.

I especially like to use ‘Montrose White’ as a repeating element in garden beds, where it adds an ethereal quality to contrast with bolder textured plants. It’s also exceptional as a border plant, and I’ve seen it used very effectively to edge walkways.

It’s especially notable as an unrivaled pollinator magnet. With this plant in your garden, we guarantee a healthy population of beneficial pollinators. I often suggest to clients that they plant it in their vegetable garden to increase the pollination of their crops.

History on Montrose White

Back in 1999 Johnson’s Nursery head propagator, Mike Yanny, became aware of this outstanding perennial. His wife, Lori, had purchased it from Nancy Goodwin at Montrose Nursery. Mike, although especially interested in woody plants, recognized that this perennial plant was exceptional. Mike made a phone call to Nancy and told her that he thought her Calamintha was one of the best perennials he had ever seen and went so far as to say that he thought it should be Perennial Plant of the Year. Nancy gave Mike approval to add the cultivar name ‘Montrose White’ to clarify its clonal identity. This plant is not patented or trademarked.

Montrose White in a Nutshell

  • Mature height: 12”-18”
  • Mature spread: 18”-24”
  • Light requirement: Full sun to light shade
  • Growth form: Light, airy, cloud-like, rounded form
  • Flowers: Abundant tiny white flowers
  • Bloom Period: Mid-summer to hard frost
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: Zone 5
  • Especially valuable for:
    • Incomparable pollinator plant
    • Exceptionally long bloom period
    • Deer & rabbit resistant
    • Repeating elements or edging
montrose white calamintha in summer flowers profile mounded compact perennial
shrub form perennial montrose white calamintha sidewalk border plant flowers
shrub form perennial montrose white calamintha sidewalk border plant flowers