If you want a long-flowering, richly symbolic, and fragrant plant that deer hate and pollinators love, look no further than catmint (Nepeta). A member of the mint family, this perennial is a favorite among gardeners thanks to its purple-blue blooms, attractive aromatic foliage, and low maintenance requirements. In this guide, I’ll run through everything you need to know about the Catmint flower’s meaning, symbolism, and cultural significance in the language of flowers.
Catmint Symbolism – Key Takeaways
In the language of flowers, a gift of catmint sends a message of happiness and love. It may also symbolize fertility. Giving catmint can be a way to tell someone that they make you happy, that you love them, or that you want to be in a romantic relationship with them.
History and Origins of Catmint
Catmint is a member of the genus Nepeta, which contains about 250 species. Nepeta is a group of flowering plants — most perennial but some annual — that share characteristics such as aromatic, gray-green, heart-shaped foliage.
The name Nepeta is thought to refer to an Etrurian city called Nepete, today known as Nepi. The city was founded well before Rome and is hailed as the heart of ancient Etruscan civilization.
Catmint Symbolism in the Language of Flowers
Catmint flowers bloom in various colors, from deep blue to purple and lavender. In the language of flowers, catmint is associated with happiness, love, and fertility.
A gift of catmint can be a way to let someone know how happy they make you or how much you love them. You can also use catmint to tell someone you’d like to be in a romantic relationship with them.
Catmint’s associations with fertility and its lovely blue and purple blossoms make it a perfect addition to a bouquet for a baby shower or to welcome a new baby.
And speaking of colors, different hues had different meanings to the Victorians. For instance, purple flowers were often associated with elegance, royalty, success, and romance. In contrast, blue flowers often symbolize peace, harmony, openness, or even sympathy.
The meanings associated with catmint mean it’s easy to craft a floral gift that sends a specific message to someone you care about.
Nepeta is also associated with strength and courage. It may attract good spirits, good luck, and even friendship. Some old folk wisdom says to hold some catmint in your hand until it grows warm, then take someone else’s hand. Your friendship will last as long as you keep the catmint that they touched.
Gardeners have been growing and enjoying different varieties of Nepeta for centuries. Evidence indicates that catmint was grown in old Roman kitchen gardens. Translated recipes from ancient Rome — believed to be written between 4 BC and 70 AD — show the use of catmint in salads.
Suitable Gifting Occasions
Given Catmint’s associations with love and fertility, a gift of the lovely purple flowers is ideal for joyful occasions, such as a baby shower, new baby, wedding, or anniversary.
They can also symbolize happiness, making them a good choice for a happy birthday and congratulations gifts. Associations with strength and courage are appropriate sentiments if you’re wishing someone well or saying a good job.
Catmint Flower FAQs:
What do catmint flowers symbolize?
Catmint flowers are associated with love, fertility, and happiness. The flowers may also symbolize courage and strength.
Do catmint symbolize love?
In the language of flowers, catmint flowers are associated with love. They’re a great way to let someone know you love them.
Catmint Flowers – The Final Word
You can’t go wrong with catmint, a long-flowering plant that produces colorful blooms almost all season long. Along with their culinary, medicinal, and insecticidal benefits, these lovely flowers send positive messages, too. In the language of flowers, a gift of catmint symbolizes happiness, love, and fertility while sending messages of strength and courage.