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Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month

Orthosiphon stamineus

 Cat's Whiskers 

Cat's Whiskers or Orthosiphon stamineus is an unusual plant for pots, containers or planted out in the garden.  It features long white or blue flowers with long stamens (cat's whiskers) over glossy mid-green foliageThe plant is native to tropical eastern Asia.  Of the family Labiatae it is cultivated for its unusual flowers and as a remedy for urinary system ailments.  Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds also find this plant very attractive.

Calendula, Pot Marigold

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Cat's Whiskers

Botanical Name:  Orthosiphon stamineus

Family:  Labiatae (mint family)

Plant Type:  Moderately bushy mint-like herb.

Origin: Tropical East Asia

Zones: 9 - 11, treated as a perennial

Height:  to 2'

Rate of Growth: Medium

Salt Tolerance: None

Soil Requirements:  Fertile, well-drained soil

Water Requirements: Requires heavy watering, do not allow to dry out

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Mint-like herb

Leaves:  Mid-green to 2" long, narrowly ovate, toothed

Flowers: Lavender or white, mint-like flowers with unusually long stamens reminiscent of cat whiskers

Fruits: None of interest

Pests or diseases:  None major

Uses:  Specimen plant

Bad Habits: None

Cost:  $$ -- reasonable

Propagation:  Seeds and root easily from stem cuttings

Sources:   A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants

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