We depend on donations from users of our database of over 8000 edible and useful plants to keep making it available free of charge and to further extend and improve it. In recent months donations are down, and we are spending more than we receive. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Blephilia ciliata - (L.) Benth.

Common Name Downy wood mint
Family Lamiaceae
USDA hardiness 4-7
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Indigenous to dry open woods, prairies, savannas, limestone bluffs, glades, barrens, clearings, fields, steep slopes, disturbed sites and roadsides. Plants often occur in thin soils over limestone.
Range Eastern North American and through parts of the Central United States. Plants occur from Canada south to Georgia and west to Oklahoma.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Blephilia ciliata Downy wood mint

Michael Wolf, Penig wikimedia.org
Blephilia ciliata Downy wood mint
Salicyna wikimedia.org


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Blephilia ciliata is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.7 m (2ft 4in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4. The flowers are pollinated by Bees, Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


B. brevifolia Raf. B. ciliata f. ciliata. B. heterophyla Raf. B. pratensis Raf. Monarda beckii Eaton. Monarda ciliata L.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses:

Leaves. Minty leaves eaten raw and used in teas. The leaves can be used to prepare sauces and drinks [1-4].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Traditionally used by the Cherokee to make a poultice to treat headaches.

References   More on Medicinal Uses

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More


Other Uses

Soil stabilization

A strong scented plant that may act as an aromatic pest confuser reducing their ability to find other nearby crops [1-3]. The flowers attract long-tongued and short-tongued bees, bee flies, Syrphid flies, butterflies, and skippers (illinoiswildflowers.info). A plant for Forest Gardens, Pollinator Gardens, Prairie or Meadow. Used as Butterfly Nectar Plants or as part of a Groundcover or Mass Planting. Showy Blooms can be used in Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Rock Gardens, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings, Perennial Borders, Restoration Projects and Wildlife Gardens (newmoonnursery.com).

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Food Forest  Ground Cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A Short-Lived fast-growing herbaceous perennial with an upright form. It prefers full sun to semi-shade and a loamy, silty soil with a pH 6 to 8. Downy wood mint has some drought tolerance but dislikes waterlogged soils or flooding. It is sensitive to salt, soil compaction. Flowers are fragrant. Soil can contain loam, clay, gravel and limestone. A high pH is tolerated but will restrict growth. It has a greater tolerance to drought than other mint species. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. Root type is fibrous and shallow. Flowering time: June to August (Northern Hemisphere).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now


Propagate by division.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Downy pagoda plant, sunny woodmint and Ohio horsemint.

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

North America.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Blephilia hirsutaHairy wood-mint or hairy pagoda plantPerennial0.7 4-7 MLMSNDM202

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment


(L.) Benth.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Blephilia ciliata  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.