‘Walker’s Low’ Catmint
Nepeta x faassenii
(Nepeta racemosa x Nepeta nepetella)
2007 Perennial Plant of the Year
2012 Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit
Nepeta x faasenii Bergmans ex Stearn is the correct and accepted scientific name for this hybrid Catmint. It was named and described as such by William Thomas Stearn in the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society in 1950. It was earlier named and described by Johannes (John) Baptista Bergmans and Mr. Stearn gave him credit.
Some websites say ‘Walker’s Low’ is a cutivar of Nepeta racmosa. Nepeta racemosa Lam. was named and first described as such by Jean Baptiste Antione Pierre de Monnet de Lamarck in Encyclopédie Méthodique, Botanique in 1785.
The genus, Nepeta L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 256 species in the Nepeta genus (as of 2-8-21 when I last updated the page). It is a member of the plant family Lamiaceae with 236 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.
I bought my Catmint ‘Walker’s Low’ (as the label says) on April 23, 2017. I transplanted it in the corner between the back porch and the kitchen window. The soil here is just common old fill dirt from when the foundation was dug. Normally there are just weeds growing here so the Catmint will be a much-needed change
USDA Zones 4-8.
2-2 1/2’ tall x 2-3’ wide.
Flowers: Lavender blue from April through September.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Water: Dry to medium.
Propagation: Must propagate by division because the seeds are sterile.
Nepeta x faasenii is a sterile hybrid between Nepeta racemosa x Nepeta nepetella by Dutch nurseryman J.H. Faassen. They will form a spreading clump of fresh-scented leaves about 2’ tall x 3’ wide. They will grow upright then start to fall over toward the end of the season.
The Missouri Botanical Garden’s website has two pages (at least) about the Catmint. One is for Nepeta x faassenii and the other is for Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’. That page also states that Nepeta mussinii Spreng. is synonymous with Nepeta racemosa, but plants sold in the trade under the name Nepeta mussinii hort. are synonymous with Nepeta x faasenii. Although The Missouri Botanical Garden website says that ‘Walker’s Low’ is a cultivar of Nepeta racemosa, many other well-known reputable websites say it is a cultivar of Nepeta x faassenii… The National Gardening Association Plant’s Database says,
“Faassen’s catmint (Nepeta X faassenii) One of the most popular catmints, the flowers of this hybrid are sterile, so it doesn’t need deadheading to prevent self-sowing. A number of cultivars of this species are widely available, including ‘Blue Wonder’, 1-2 feet tall, with dark blue flowers, ‘Kit Kat’, a long-blooming, 18 inch tall selection, and ‘Walker’s Low’, with lavender-blue flowers on arching, 2-3 tall stems. ‘White Wonder’ is a white-flowered cultivar. ‘Six Hills Giant’ is among the tallest, with 9-12 inch spikes of deep purple flowers on 3-4 foot tall plants.”
After a cold winter, it was good to see the Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ coming to life.
The question was whether ‘Walker’s Low’ is a cultivar of Nepeta x faassenii or Nepeta racemosa. If it is a hybrid its seeds would be sterile otherwise it would have also spread by seed.
As far as I can tell no seeds of this plant have germinated. It has only spread nicely from within the clump itself.
It doesn’t take long for the Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ to fill in an area. It sometimes seems a bit sprawly and leaves a hole in the center but that allows for more growth.
Even though the masses of flowers can weigh the stems down, especially after a rain, they are strong and stand back up early in the season. As time goes by and the stems get longer abd heavier, they may not always stand back up.
It has performed very well even during dry conditions with hardly any supplemental water. Even in the “supposedly poor” fill dirt next to the foundation.
Several perennials were coming up, including the Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’, when the above photo was taken on March 10 in 2019.
Well underway for summer on 4-7-19…
I noticed the Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ was budding when I was taking a few photos on May 5, 2019.
I think I can easily say Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ is a hybrid and not a cultivar of Nepeta racemosa since it has NOT spread from seed. The clump has spread a little, which is good…
LOOKING GREAT on April 11, 2020.
I was fairly busy with the garden and this and that over the summer of 2020 so I didnt take many photos of the plants around the house. I will try to do better in 2021.
This page will always be under construction for as long as I have this Catmint. I will continually be adding more photos and opinions. I hope you enjoyed this page so far. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I would like hearing from you.
OH, one more thing… Catmint is NOT Catnip. Catnip is Nepeta cataria. The name catmint is often used to describe the genus Nepeta as a whole. My cats don’t pay any attention to it. I have read that if you take some leaves and crush them a little and the cats will be attracted to it. After a few days, the attraction goes away. I have tried it with this plant and they just smell of it then just walk away…
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.