You say Catnip
and I say Catmint.
What is the difference?
Well, let's start by saying that Catnip is
a member of the mint family. Then let's say that there are other members
of the same Genus as Catnip, the Nepeta genus. Then we need to point out
that folks in Europe and folks in America DON'T use the same common
In Europe, the lowly Catnip plant is often
called Catmint because not only does it attract cats but because it is
also minty. They also use the term catnep, with an e instead of an i.
Then in America we take the term Catnep and
make it Catnip. But, what about the term Catmint?
That we, Americans, save for the other members of the
Nepeta genus, like Giant
Catmint, and Siberian
Catmint. We never call these Catnips. We use the term
Catnip with those
Nepetas that are of the species cataria, of which we know of only two
(Catnip and Lemon Catnip).
What about Catmints in Europe? Well they
call all the same ones we call Catmints Catmints, but they also sometimes
call Catnip Catmint.
And, what about the kitties? Well, they
don't really care what we call it and they seem to really only go for the Nepeta catarias. The other Nepetas are
low in the volatile oil, Nepetalactone, that makes them go wild over
If your kitty doesn't like Catnip, there
are other herbs he may go for.
Check out our Newsletter Prized Pet Plants.
Catnip makes a great addition to
our Tea Herb Garden Six
Packs and our Edible
Flower Garden Six Pack.