A genus of 7 species of perennials native to both the Old World and the New. Among them is one of the outstanding plants for the late-summer and fall garden. It's called Calamintha nepeta nepeta, and its wiry, 18in stems present a cloud of dainty, lavender-and-white flowers that start blooming in August and continue without pause until frost, sometimes past. The leaves are a soft mid-green that always looks fresh. When crushed, they give off a rush of tart, minty fragrance that works like smelling salts on a hot day. For that reason alone, Calamintha is a fine choice for the front of borders, where a pinch is always at hand. This amazing plant thrives in any well-drained, sunny location and shrugs off heat and drought (afternoon shade is recommended in the warmer reaches of Zone 9 in the West). We've yet to find a color or shape that it doesn't look perfectly natural with. As you can tell, we're nuts about Calamintha. Pot-grown.