A follow-up to my previous posting on Melissa (and Monarda), plants in the labiate (Lamiaceae) family, with a bow back to an earlier posting on labiates, especially coleus (Solenostemon). These are favorite plants of mine — admittedly, as commenter “beslayed” said about my previous posting, tough and invasive plants, but affording scent, taste, and good ground cover (and they can always be hacked back from one another). They were mainstays of my Columbus OH garden  (some description here).

Inventories from Ohio (all plants worth postings of their own; many will be familiar to you):

plants with leaves to taste or smell: lemon balm [Melissa], lavenders [Lavandula], catnip [Nepeta], summer savory [Satureja hortensis], winter savory [Satureja montana], giant-hyssop [Agastache], hyssop [Hyssopus], sages [Salvia], bee balms [Monarda], thymes [Thymus], horehound [Marrubium], Russian sage [Perovskia], basils [Ocimum], mints [Mentha], oregano [Origanum vulgare], marjoram [Origanum majorana], shiso [Perilla], rosemary [Rosmarinus] (mostly perennials, with some annuals)

plants that stretch out rooting stems above ground or lateral roots below: dead-nettles [Lamium], the thymes, the mints, bugle-weed  / ajuga [Ajuga], ground ivy / gill-over-the-ground / creeping Charlie [Glechoma hederaceae], germander [Teucrium], lamb’s ears [Stachys], pennyroyal [Mentha pulegium], self-heal / heal-all [Prunella] (We grew ajuga, ground ivy, and heal-all as lawn plants, along with several species of violets and of course grasses.)

Then there’s coleus, grown as a houseplant in Ohio, as a planter-box plant here in California, where I’ve also grown skullcaps [Scutellaria] and yerba buena [Satureja douglasii], as well as a number of the plants in the list above.

And beyond these, a bewildering assortment of labiate genera, including some with vines (Clereodendron) and shrubs/trees (Vitex).


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