catnip or catmint, strong-scented perennial herb ( Nepeta cataria ) of the family Labiatae (mint family), native to Europe and Asia but naturalized in the United States. A tea of the leaves and flowing tops has long been used as a domestic remedy for various ailments. Catnip is best known for its stimulating effect on cats. Catnip is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Lamiales, family Labiatae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.