Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Virginia Mountain-mint - Pycnanthemum virginianum   (L.) T. Durand & B.D. Jackson ex B.L. Robinson & Fernald
Members of Lamiaceae:
Members of Pycnanthemum with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Lamiales » Family Lamiaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
Author(L.) T. Durand & B.D. Jackson ex B.L. Robinson & Fernald
DistributionWidely scattered over the mountains and the northern Piedmont. Disjunct to Brunswick County in the southeastern Coastal Plain. Otherwise, it seems to be absent from the Coastal Plain and the southern Piedmont.

This is a northern species, ranging from eastern Canada south to NC, northern GA, and OK. However, it is scarce south of VA and MO.
AbundanceRare and perhaps overlooked in the mountains and the northern Piedmont. Casual in the Coastal Plain. This is a Significantly Rare species. The NCNHP gives it a State Rank of S1?, but the editors feel that S1S2 is slightly more accurate.
HabitatThis is a species with a combination of habitat requirements that makes it rare in the state. It favors high pH soil, yet it prefers slightly damp to moderately damp ground. It occurs in wet meadows, marshes, damp spots in powerline clearings, somewhat moist barrens and glades, and other such habitats. It is usually found in full sun.
PhenologyBlooms from June to September, and fruits in September and October.
IdentificationThis is one of the several narrow-leaved mountain-mints in the state, and owing to its rarity, must be carefully separated from the quite common P. tenuifolium, and less so from P. flexuosum. It grows to about 2.5' tall, with branches in the upper portions, as with most others in the genus. In this species, the stem is strongly 4-sided, with hairs on the edges and at times on the sides; P. tenuifolium is glabrous and often has a somewhat rounded stem. The very numerous pairs of opposite leaves average about 2" long and about 1/4" wide (3-10 mm), whereas those of P. tenuifolium are generally 1/8" (3 mm at best) wide or narrower. Otherwise, it has numerous small heads at the tops of the upper branches, each with a group of small white flowers; the clusters are more unevenly spaced on the plant and not anywhere resembling a flat-topped look as often seen in P. tenuifolium; in addition, the flowers are slightly larger than in that species, creating more of a spectacle when a group is in bloom. P. flexuosum is a whitish-looking plant, with an abundance of white hairs over the plant. This rare species is difficult to find in NC, though as it can be passed over as P. tenuifolium and has a wide range in the state, there seems to be plenty of opportunity for new populations to be found in the mountains and northern Piedmont.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Common Mountain-mint, American Mountain-mint
State RankS1? [S1S2]
Global RankG5
State StatusSR-P
US Status
USACE-agcpFAC link
USACE-empFAC link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
Select an occurrence type