Calamint officinalis Showy Variegated Calamint
Calamints are another of the perfectly polite perennial herbs and I first came across them many years ago. The plant was named Calamentha calamentha which was a lovely plant with pretty pink flowers. Alas I lost the plant when we moved. A few years later I was giving a tour of the Virginia State Arboretum herb garden and Tom DeBaggio was doing a book signing at the same event. I asked him about the plant as I was not able to track it down again. He identified it as Calamentha grandiflora or Showy Calamint. There are also several other calamints which are part of the mint flower. The smaller calamints have small leaves and pretty little white flowers which makes the whole plant look like a shaggy green soccer ball covered in blossom! The showy calamint though is definitely a beautiful plant and whether you get the variegated leaf or the green leaf they are both great additions to the perennial bed as well as the herb garden. In warmer climates keep the variegated calamint in some light shade so that it doesn’t burn. The variegated one is also not quite as hardy as the standard green calamint and may only be hardy to zone 6 unless it is protected in winter.