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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Pycnanthemum virginianum (L.) Durand and Jackson)

Common mountain mint

MINT FAMILY (Labiatae or Lamiaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A perennial, aromatic (minty fragrance) herb 20-40 cm. high with square stems and opposite leaves. The stems are hairy along the angles. The lance-linear shaped leaves are entire, smooth above, and usually average less than 6 mm. wide. The outermost modified leaves of the inflorescence are leafy and essentially hairless above. The midvein of modified leaves of the inflorescence is not prominent. The triangular-shaped calyx lobes are less than 1 mm. long, and thus are shorter than the calyx tube. The inflorescence contains four or more flowers in dense, button-like cymes that terminate the stems and branches. Each white flower contains four stamens. In flower from the end of June to the beginning of October.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: This mint is common in wet to wet-mesic prairies and calcareous fens, and occasionally occurs in dry prairies and open, upland woods. Common mountain mint may persist when other prairie species are eliminated by grazing.

SOURCE: Gleason and Cronquist (1991); and Swink and Wilhelm (1994).

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