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jueves, 14 de abril de 2011

Gatos: Planta que atrae a los Gatos. Una manera de indicarle su lugar ...


Nepeta cataria De Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre


Clasificación científica
Reino: Plantae
División: Magnoliophyta
Clase: Magnoliopsida
Orden: Lamiales
Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribu: Sin asignar
Género: Nepeta
Nombre binomial
Nepeta cataria

La menta de gato, menta gatuna, albahaca de gatos, gatera, gataria y nébeda (Nepeta cataria) es una planta natural de Europa que crece en terrenos baldíos, taludes, setos, terraplenes y en ruinas de casas viejas. También crece asilvestrada en Asia occidental y Norteamérica.

El nombre de su género Nepeta proviene del latín (nepa) que significa "escorpión", dada la antigua creencia de que esta planta curaba la picadura de los escorpiones.

CaracterísticasEs una planta perenne con tallo grisáceo, velluda y ramificada que alcanza 20-60 cm de altura. Tiene hojas opuestas, pecioladas, cordadas, con bordes dentados y peludas por el envés. Las flores numerosas son de color amarillentos y rosados manchados de púrpura, agrupándose en una espiga laxa pedunculada. La planta desprende un fuerte olor a menta que atrae a los gatos (de ahí su nombre común).

A los gatos se le hace irresistible esta planta. Comen sus flores, olisquean, mastican y se frotan en sus hojas y vuelven una y otra vez por una dosis de su embriagadora esencia.
Los aceites aromáticos de esta planta hacen que los gatos que la ingieren se comporten en un principio de manera muy juguetona, pero a medida que aumentan los efectos del aceite, su comportamiento se hace más extraño. Empiezan a rodar sobre sí mismos como si estuvieran en éxtasis, cazan ratones imaginarios, etc.
No todos los gatos se estimulan en el mismo grado, y un tercio de los gatos no responderá en absoluto. Esta diferencia de respuesta de un gato a otro es, probablemente, debido a factores medioambientales, genéticos, y el sexo del gato (los machos tienen una atracción mayor hacia la hierba que las hembras).

Si un gato que normalmente reacciona a ella está en un ambiente extraño o está ansioso, es probable que no le produzca ningún efecto embriagador. Los gatos de ciertas razas no reaccionan a la hierba.

Todavía no se sabe el rasgo genético que produce esa atracción, pero puede obtenerse una selección siguiendo una línea genética mediante el apareamiento de gatos que tengan respuesta positiva a la Nepeta cataria.
El ingrediente activo de la hierba gatera es la "nepetalactona". Esta sustancia está químicamente relacionada con un compuesto similar encontrado en orina de gatas. Esta puede ser la causa porque los machos tienen una atracción mayor por la Nepeta que las hembras y machos castrados.

SinonimiaCataria vulgaris Gaterau, Descr. Pl. Montauban: 105 (1789).

Glechoma cataria (L.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 518 (1891).

Nepeta minor Mill., Gard. Dict. ed. 8: 2 (1768).

Nepeta vulgaris Lam., Fl. Franç. 2: 398 (1779).

Cataria tomentosa Gilib., Fl. Lit. Inch. 1: 78 (1782), opus utique oppr.

Nepeta americana Vitman, Summa Pl. 3: 419 (1789), nom. illeg.

Nepeta tomentosa (Gilib.) Vitman, Summa Pl. 3: 419 (1789).

Nepeta mollis Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 78 (1796).

Nepeta macrura Ledeb. ex Spreng., Syst. Veg. 2: 729 (1825).

Nepeta citriodora Dumort., Fl. Belg.: 47 (1827).

Nepeta ruderalis Boiss., Fl. Orient. 4: 643 (1879), nom. illeg.

Glechoma macrura (Ledeb. ex Spreng.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 518 (1891).

Calamintha albiflora Vaniot, Bull. Acad. Int. Géogr. Bot. 14: 181 (1904).

Nepeta bodinieri Vaniot, Bull. Acad. Int. Géogr. Bot. 14: 172 (1904).

Nepeta laurentii Sennen, Bol. Soc. Ibér. Ci. Nat. 32: 20 (1933 publ. 1934).[1]

Nombre comúnCastellano: albahaca, albahaca de gatos, alhabaca, gataria, gatera, gatera alta, hierba de gatos, hierba de los gatos, hierba gatera, mea-gatos, menta de gato, menta de gatos, menta gatera, menta gatuna, nébeda, nébida, yerba de gatos, yerba del asmático, yerba de los gatos, yerba gatera, yerba ñeta.[2]

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