The Native Plant Store can Now be Found Here

  • This page will remain accessible as a library page until I have all the species moved to the new page and all the quirks worked out in the new software so it can function as a searchable library.
  • Please see the Using the Plant Library  page  for some tips on how to make the most of the information in this existing library to select species for creating a healthy native plant community suited to the conditions of your site.

Clinopodium vulgare, Wild Basil

Clinopodium vulgare

Wild Basil

  • Full sun to fairly deep shade
  • Average soil preferred but also does well in low nutrient soils
  • Grows to roughly 18" in height and 12" in spread (in my experience, they may be larger in richer settings)
  • For meadow and woodland ecosystems

A quiet, unassuming plant that I didn’t give the attention that they deserve for far too long.

Like most members of the mint family, they are popular with pollinators. Unlike some of those relatives, they grow perfectly well in dry shade.

Because I was slow to appreciate them, I haven’t yet introduced them to a garden setting to see how well they like it. I have a suspicion that they will be quite content, the bigger question is just how happy they will be. The internet tells me that they do spread by rhizomes, which could put them somewhere on the spectrum from Monarda to Wild Mint in a garden setting.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for a meadow, since I’ve observed them co-existing with neighbours perfectly well in that setting, or a dry shaded space, since dry shade slows the spread of even the most adventurous species.

Where they might overwhelm is a nice, rich garden without plenty of neighbours. Now, those of you who have been following my posts for a while will know that my approach is to toss all of the equally outgoing minglers and wanderers together where, rather than overwhelming each other they generally settle down into peaceful coexistence. Not necessarily exactly where I originally planted them but, in the space, with the neighbours, of their choice. I think that these will fit in just fine with Monarda, Goldenrod, Obedient Plant and Prairie Primrose and Heart Leaved Aster in my dry-ish part shade urban backyard.

Given their short stature (up to around 18” if reaching for light but often below 1’ otherwise) and fairly open growth pattern, I suspect that these will prove to be a very nice #nativegroundcover for dry shade, filling in the physical and ecological gaps between and below other species.

Species that were not sown / aren't being sown for 2023 are marked with an * 
Species that are native to this continent, but not historically native to Ontario are marked with a ~ 
While it rarely comes up, I do reserve the right to limit plant quantities, mostly to help ensure that as many native plant gardens as possible become a reality