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Mentha spicata

Spearmint, Mentha spicata, photo © by Mike Plagens

Photographed by Mike Plagens along Coon Creek in the Sieraa Ancha., Arizona, USA. August 2009.

LEAVES: Paired leaves at each node are coarsely serrate on the margins and emit intense spearmint oils when crushed.

FLOWERS: Spikes of small, closelypacked, white flowers at the tips of the growing stems. Their are five petal lobes that are slightly unequal in size/shape.

HERB: A perennial herb tending to form mats. Commonly less than 50 cm tall. The stems in cross-section are square.

RANGE: Widely cultivated around the World, generally in well watered soil. Escaped from cultivation along many riparian streams where people have long settled seaking permanent water and comforting shade.

FRUIT: Small capsules with usually four small seeds.


Lamiaceae -- Mint Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
The Flora of Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010