Catnip: Its Raison d'Être

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Science  04 Dec 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3649, pp. 1318-1320
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3649.1318


Catnip (nepetalactone) is closely related chemically to certain cyclopentanoid monoterpenes recently isolated from insects, and it shares with some of these terpenes an ability to repel insects. It is suggested that the adaptive function of catnip is to protect the plants that produce it against phytophagous insects.

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