Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Spearmint - Mentha spicata   L.
Members of Lamiaceae:
Members of Mentha with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Lamiales » Family Lamiaceae
DistributionMostly in the Mountains, but scattered across the state. First collected in 1897 from "wet soil near Biltmore", Buncombe County. Specimens from Forsyth, Jackson, Montgomery, Robeson, and Wake counties are all from cultivated plants.

Native of Europe; in N.A. throughout.
AbundanceUncommon to infrequent in the Mountains; rare elsewhere.
HabitatUsually moist to wet soil of roadsides, meadows, pastures, bottomlands, sewer line, lawn weed, campus weed.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-September.
IdentificationSpearmint grows mostly 1-3 feet tall, glabrate, and quite fragrant. The leaves are sub-sessile, broadly lance-shaped to narrowly ovate, with deeply sunken veins to appear wrinkled. The spikes are terminal and axillary, narrow, elongate at maturity (up to 4.5 inches long). The flowers are small, pink, dense or interrupted on spikes. Peppermint (M. x piperita) is closely similar, but its leaves have definite stalks and the calyx is longer.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-empFACW link
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