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Disk-shaped clusters of frilly, lavender flowers are skewered by a hairy stem late spring through mid-summer. Also known as downy pagoda plant and Ohio horsemint, this herbaceous perennial in the Mint family is found in a variety of well-drained soils in full or part sun. It tolerates some drought but does not do well in waterlogged or compacted soils. Unlike some mints, it spreads slowly in clumps rather than dominating an area. It's native to the central and eastern parts of the United States and is resistant to deer but loved by pollinators.

 

Native habitats include dry open woods, prairies, savannas, limestone bluffs, clearings, fields, steep slopes, disturbed sites, and roadsides. Use as a mass planting in meadows or woodlands or include in drought, native, or pollinator gardens.

 

Plant Characteristics:

Grows 12-30" tall and 8-18" wide. Not an aggressive spreader.

 

Prefers full or part sun.

 

Prefers well-drained loamy or silty soils in moist to dry conditions; adapts to loamy, gravelly, or clay soils. Tolerates occasional drought but not flooding. 

 

2-3" clusters of flowers encircle upper half of central stem for about one month.

 

The roots are fibrous and shallow. The stems give off a mild fragrance when crushed.

 

Wildlife Value:

The flowers attract long-tongued and short-tongued bees, bee flies, Syrphid flies, butterflies, and skippers.

 

Medicinal, Edible, and Other Uses:

The leaves may be used in drinks and sauces.

 

Resources:

North Caroline Extension: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/blephilia-ciliata/..

 

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=BLCI

 

Mint, Downy Wood, Blephilia ciliata

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