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A picture of a Lesser Calamint

Lesser Calamint

Clinopodium nepeta

Photo by mefisher (CC0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








3 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

More images of Lesser Calamint

A white flower on a Clinopodium nepeta plant
A close up of a white Clinopodium nepeta flower
A close up of a pink flower on a Clinopodium nepeta plant
A pink flower with green leaves on a Clinopodium nepeta plant
A close up of a green Clinopodium nepeta plant

Lesser Calamint Overview

Clinopodium nepeta is a bushy perennial species from the Lamiaceae family. It is commonly known as Lesser Calamint and often misnamed as Calamintha nepeta. It forms a compact mound of shiny, green oregano-like leaves. The leaves smell like a cross between mint and oregano, they may be used as a spice in Italian cooking, where it is referred to as mentuccia, nipitella or nepitella. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Lesser Calamint

How to harvest Lesser Calamint

Harvest leaves and flowers throughout the spring and summer. Catch seed in bags placed over the flowers at the end of the flowering period. Or place flowers in brown paper bag to allow to dry.

How to propagate Lesser Calamint


Selfseeds in autumn when seeds are released from the seed capsules.


Special features of Lesser Calamint

Pot plant

It grows well in containers, but increase watering when grown in pots. The drainage is important. Place pots in areas away from the heat of the day.

Attractive flowers

Attracts butterflies

Attracts bees

Attracts useful insects

Other uses of Lesser Calamint

Ground cover


Leaves and flowers are edible and often used in Italian recipes.