Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Meehan's Mint - Meehania cordata   (Nuttall) Britton
Members of Lamiaceae:
Only member of Meehania in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Lamiales » Family Lamiaceae
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Author(Nuttall) Britton
DistributionRanges strictly in the Mountains, south to Jackson County; absent in the southwestern Mountains, and also absent to very rare in the central Mountains close to the Blue Ridge Escarpment along the eastern edge of the province.

This is a Central Appalachian endemic, ranging from southwestern PA southwestward only to western NC and northeastern TN.
AbundanceInfrequent to fairly common in the Amphibolite Mountains of Ashe and northern Watauga counties; quite widespread in these two counties. Rather rare elsewhere in the northern portion to Avery County, and very rare from Yancey to Jackson counties. The NCNHP lists this as a Significantly Rare species. Owing to the numerous records (several dozen) in the NCNHP database, the website editors feel that S2S3 better represents the State Rank than does S2.
HabitatThis species favors high pH soils, over amphibolite rock, and can be found in somewhat rocky sites and from mesic to moist conditions. It occurs in Rich Cove Forests, Boulderfield Forests, and other fairly rich hardwood forests.
PhenologyBlooms from late May to late June, and fruits in June and July.
IdentificationThis is an odd mint, completely unlike any other flowering plant in the state. It is somewhat leaning and trailing and can form carpets. Plants can be only about 6 inches tall but often 1 foot wide or more, with a few pairs of opposite leaves on quite long petioles (about 2 inches long). Each leaf blade is quite violet-like, being ovate with a cordate base, scalloped margins and a rounded tip, about 1.5-2 inches long and wide. At the ends of the one to several branches grow the small clusters of flowers, each flower being about 1.3-1.5 inches long (large for the size of the plant), mostly lavender-blue in color. They are erect to leaning, with a tubular lower portion and a curved hood over the opening. As the species tends to grow in carpets low to the ground, a patch of the plants in full bloom is quite striking and unforgettable. Even just in leaf, the colony can be identified by experienced biologists, but inexperienced ones would likely call the plants as violets, or worse, as the exotic Ground-ivy (Glechoma hederacea). Exploring the mountains of Ashe and Watauga counties may well yield some of the plants, though they bloom after the main spring wildflower push in mid-April to mid-May; they do not normally start flowering until later in May.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Meehania, Creeping Mint
State RankS2 [S2S3]
Global RankG5
State StatusSR-P
US Status
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