An article published in the Fort Myers News-Press by our Executive Director, Brian Holley:
“Ashe’s calamint, like many of its mint family relatives, is a really delightful plant that is also very easy to grow. Just give it lots of sun and great drainage and you will get months of lavender flowers every winter.
Its natural range is from Central Florida to southern Alabama, where it is found mostly in scrub vegetation or on disturbed sites. Unfortunately, it is under threat from development and currently is limited to about 60 sites throughout the state. It is likely that Ashe’s calamint is allelopathic, meaning that it exudes a substance that limits other plants from growing too close, a very handy trait in scrub habitat where water and nutrients are in short supply.
We have been growing this plant in the Karen and Robert Scott Florida Garden for the last year or so and it has stayed quite compact at about 14 inches high and wide. The leaves are aromatic with a slight menthol fragrance and are somewhat like rosemary leaves in shape. Many calamints are used in flavoring, perhaps most famously in the Middle Eastern spice blend, Za’atar.
Ashe’s calamint is a Florida native that has really great potential for home gardeners — especially those with brown thumbs!”