by Amanda Rose Newton
This underrated plant also goes by the name Scrub Mint, giving away its best attribute: its minty fresh scent!
Conradina In the Landscape
Conradina canescens is probably something you have run across while hiking the many Environmentally Protected Lands Sanctuaries here in Brevard, and if you have yet to do so, you are missing out on the best wildflower show of the year.
While Conradina takes on a rather unassuming appearance for a majority of the year, once the flowers are popping, it’s hard to not do a double-take when walking by this one! Not only does it attract us, but as we have well learned here on the blog, anything that smells and looks enticing to us is usually doubly so for pollinators.
Compact and not known to be an aggressive spreader, its square stems and silvery foliage give it its other common name, “false rosemary”, due to its resemblance to everyone’s favorite herb.
Conradina flowers are also rather rosemary-like, with double-lipped white flowers flushed with purple spotting and edges.
How to Plant Conradina
Since it likes to stay put, Conradina is great to plant just about anywhere you like. It only gets 2 feet in height so it can work well in beds and even flower boxes if you choose.
Perhaps its best use is in a pollinator garden, where it will bring a diversity of bees, birds, and butterflies.
Given its humidity-loving nature and relative flexibility when it comes to drought, this good-natured plant can also work well in a xeriscaping garden.
This plant is perfect for those who are only here seasonally, or who despite good intentions, tend to be a bit absent-minded when it comes to the garden.
Sandy soil is the favorite of scrub mint, and that happens to be what Florida is best at having on hand.
If you have grown rosemary in your time, this will be almost identical in care. Both are not fans of “wet feet” and prefer life on the drier side. Conradina is always up for a suntan!
Propagation is easy, as well. Both seeds and cuttings will work, and you can expect the flowers to last several months.
Conradina is an easy win for the landscape and for preserving the nature of native Florida.
As Native Plant Appreciation month ends, remember you can keep the effort going year-round by joining your local Native Plant Society Chapter. If you live in South Brevard, it just so happens to be the Conradina Chapter.