DOWNY WOOD MINT

Blephilia ciliata

Blephilia ciliata has a distinctive appeal with its tight clusters of pink-purple flowers stacked to resemble a pagoda.  It is a good native ground cover.  Reminiscent of the much loved Monardas, this Blephilia will spread by rhizomes slowly from a central tab root to form clumps.  Deer will no bother this member of the Mint family but important pollinators frequent it during its early summer bloom.  It can thrive in almost any medium to dry-soil garden that receives 20% or more sun per summer day.

An infusion of the herb is used in alternative medicine as an — for that run down feeling — analgesic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, carminative and tonic. The herbal tea is used in the treatment of indigestion, colic, coughs, colds, chills and fevers.  Rub leaves on skin to repel mosquitoes.

Uses: Butterfly garden, meadow, perennial border, pollinator garden. A must have for any pollinator garden!

SPECS: Native Name: Algonquin; Genus: Blephilia; Species: Ciliata; Plant Type: Herb; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun; Soil Moisture: Mesic (middle), Medium Dry, Dry, Well Drained; Height: 2′ — 3′; Spread: 1′; Plant Spacing: 1′ — 2′; Bloom Time: June — July; Bloom Color: Purple; Advantages: Pollinators; USDA Zone: 4 — 8; Attracts: Beeflies, Beneficial insects, Butterflies, Long-tongued bees, Skippers, Songbirds, Sweat bees, Syrphid flies; Tolerant: Drought, Dry soils; Plant Community: Goes well with Smooth blue aster (Aster laevis), Tall coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris), Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) & Wine cups (Callirhoe involucrata);