Botanical Name: Calamintha georgiana
Common Name: Georgia Calamint, Georgia Basil
Description: This beautiful little perennial is a Florida native, but it’s found only in a few counties in the Panhandle area. The State of Florida has it listed as an Endangered species.
This is such a pretty plant. It has small leaves that look somewhat like rosemary leaves but smell like a combination of mint and basil. The tubular white to lavender flowers bloom late fall into winter and simply cover the plant. The first time I saw a mature plant in full bloom, it stopped me in my tracks. Yep, it truly is that beautiful. It likes to grow in a sun to part sun area of your garden in well drained, sandy, acidic soil. This is NOT a plant for your rain garden area. It matures at 1.5 – 2′ tall and wide. Because of its small size, it’s a great plant for borders or in containers. Is cold hardy down to 19 degrees. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds, but they are especially attractive to lots of different bees. Is very drought tolerant once established. Is deer resistant.
Not only does it smell great, but it can be used in teas, as seasoning when cooking, and has medicinal value. Not surprisingly, it’s in the mint family.
It’s native habitat is in longleaf pine sandhills, dry rocky or sandy woodlands.
Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low to no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.
This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-15″ tall.
Plant Lore: An herbal tea can be made from the dried leaves.
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 9