Nepeta is a genus, with the common name catmints, of about 250 species of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. The genus name is reportedly in reference to the city of Nepete, an ancient Etruscan city. The genus is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, and has also naturalized in North America. Some members of this group are known as catnip or catmint because of their effect on house cats the nepetalactone contained in some Nepeta species binds to the olfactory receptors of cats, typically resulting in temporary euphoria. This may not be the case when they are sown however, as the saying; 'If you set them, the cats will get them. If you sow them, the cats don't know them' suggests.