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Pycnanthemum californicum

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Pycnanthemum californicum

  1. 1. * California Mountain (Sierra) Mint – Pycnanthemum californicum (pick-NAN-the-mum kal-ih-FOR-ni-kum) Family: Lamiaceae (Mint Family) Native to: Mountain ranges & foothills of California. Locally in the San Gabriels; moist sites in chaparral, oak woodland, and coniferous forests, 1,500-5,500' elevation. Growth characteristics: herbaceous perennial mature height: 1-3 ft. mature width: spreading Spreading, herbaceous groundcover; dies back if water-stressed and in fall. Leaves shiny green or fuzzy-pale (sunnier locations), lance-shaped, opposite (typical for mints). Strong minty scent when crushed. New stems emerge in early spring. Spreading, but not particularly invasive. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring or summer. Flowers are small, white with purple spots, in dense clusters in the leaf axils. Flowers very typical for Mint family, attract butterflies, hummingbirds. Uses in the garden: Best used in moist areas of the garden – lawn edges, etc. Makes a surprisingly hardy ground cover. Good choice under fountains & birdbaths. Would also work will in large containers. Fragrant foliage useful as a seasoning, for teas, or as a cold remedy (traditional use). Sensible substitute for: Non-native mints. Attracts: Excellent butterfly nectar plant. Birds eat the seeds. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Part sun best. Morning sun or dappled sun. Soil Most local soil types and pH’s. Water Best in moist soils – Water Zone 2-3 to 3. Fertilizer Not needed if organic mulch used. Other Organic leaf mulch best. Management: Plant will spread, so contain if this is an issue. Easy to pull out unwanted stems. Cut back to nearly the ground when it becomes raggedy. Propagation: from seed: easy, fresh seed; smoke Tx may help by divisions: fairly easy, spring Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, 62 8/22/17 © Project SOUND

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