‘Walker’s Low’ Catmint
Nepeta x faassenii
Nepeta racemosa x Nepeta nepetella
Nepeta x faasenii Bergmans ex Stearn is the correct and accepted name according to The Plant List. It was first documented by Johannes (John) Baptista Bergmans and William Thomas Stearn. Their document was published in the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society in 1950. Ummm… Strange they misspelled the name on their own list… Should be Nepeta faassenii.
Nepeta racemosa Lam. is the other species that ‘Walker’s Low’ could be a cultivar of. It is a correct and accepted species of Catmint and was first described by…. Jean Baptiste Antione Pierre de Monnet de Lamarck in Encyclopédie Méthodique, Botanique in 1785.
Plants of the World Online by Kew doesn’t list Nepeta x faassenii on their list of accepted species or even as a synonym…
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.
They produce an abundance of lavender-blue flowers normally from April through September. It is best to deadhead spent flowers to keep the plant looking tidy and assure better flowering.
The Missouri Botanical Garden’s website has two pages (at least) about the Catmint. One is for Nepeta x faassenii. The other is for Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’. That page also states that is 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.”
Funny, though, when you click on ‘Walker’s Low’, it redirects you to a page that says it is a cultivar of Nepeta racemosa. They also have a list of Catmint species and Nepeta racemosa is not on the list. GEEZ! They also misspelled faassenii! GEEZ! Maybe The Plant List is the one who is misspelling it and everyone else is correct. Maybe I better check! OH, CRAP!!! They did! Now I have to go back and change the spelling on all my photos. Well, The Plant List is no longer maintained…
There are many websites that offer Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ and it is listed with both names…
We shall see in time which this plant really is. If it is a cultivar of Nepeta x faassenii it will not spread from seed. If it is a cultivar of Nepeta racemosa it will.
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, the cats will be attracted to it. After a few days, the attraction goes away.