Nepeta

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Nepeta

 

a genus of perennial and, rarely, annual herbs of the family Labiatae. The flowers are gathered in long, compound inflorescences. There are approximately 250 species, distributed in the nonarctic regions of Eurasia and in Africa. More than 80 species are found in the USSR, predominantly in the Caucasus and Middle Asia, along dry mountain slopes. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) grows in meadows and shrub thickets and as a weed in fields and gardens. It contains an essential oil used in making perfume. The plant is nectar-bearing. Several species, including N. sibirica and N. grandiflora, are grown as ornamentals.