Rhizomatous perennial, 3-10 dm, glabrous or subglabrous (often glandular), the lvs often hirsute along the main veins beneath; lvs sessile or subsessile, lance-ovate or elliptic, 3-7 נ0.8-2.5 cm, 2-3.5 times as long as wide, serrate, ±acute; fls crowded into slender terminal spikes (sometimes interrupted below) 3-12 cm long and 0.5-1 cm thick at anthesis; cal 1-3 mm, the lobes generally hispid-ciliate, the tube without hairs; cor 2-4 mm; 2n=48. Banks of streams and ditches, and other moist places; native of Europe, now widely established in N. Amer. and throughout our range.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Welsh et al. 1993, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Upright perennial from leafy-bracteate stolons, the stems to 1 m or more, usually branched, glabrous or glabrate. Leaves: Sessile or subsessile, blades 2-8 cm long, 0.6-2.5 cm wide, lanceolate to lance oblong, elliptic to ovate, unequally serrate with an acute apex, rounded at base, glandular-punctate. Flowers: Terminal clusters or spikes to 8 cm long, lower glomerules separated, floral bracts glabrous, slender, calyx 1.5-2 mm long, tube glandular, ciliate on margins of the subulate teeth, corolla pink to white, 3-4 mm long. Fruits: Smooth nutlets. Ecology: Found along streams in wet soils from 4,000-6,000 ft (1219-1829 m); flowers June-October. Distribution: Introduced to every state in the U.S. except ND; south to S. Amer.; throughout the world on every continent. Notes: A common introductee to wetlands and streams, distinguished by forming dense stands due to extensive, long rhizomes; oblong, glabrous leaves; and flowers in terminal spikes as opposed to axillary clusters in M. arvensis and as opposed to the villous foliage of M. rotundifolia. Ethnobotany: Taken for headaches, vomiting, as a cold remedy, for fevers, upset stomach, as a sedative, for diarrhea, as a medicine against worms, and used to flavor food, and made into tea. Etymology: Mentha is the Latin name for the unfortunate Greek nymph Mentha who was turned into a mint plant, while spicata means with flowers in spikes. Synonyms: Mentha cordifolia, M. longifolia, M. viridis Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015