Mountain Mints are a native perennial wildflower found throughout North America from Maine to Michigan and as far south as Florida and Texas. They thrive in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Mountain Mint have also been found in barren spots in the Midwest and in pine barrens. They can grow in full sun to part shade.
Mountain Mints can reach about 2-feet tall and begin to bloom when they reach maturity. All parts of the plant have a minty scent when crushed. The flowers range in color from white to pink and some have lavender or purple spots.
Mountain Mints are vigorous growers and are most attractive when planted in groups and allowed to naturalize. The leaves can be used to make tea or as a mosquito repellant.
Native Americans used Mountain Mints to treat colds, stomach aches, and other ailments. www.missouribotanicalgarden.org Mountain Mints have few pests and are not bothered by deer or bunnies. The flowers attract honeybees, bumblebees, and our native sweat bee.
In the Brunswick County Botanical Garden, you will find Virginia Mountain Mint, (Pycnanthemum virginianum), Narrow-leaf Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium), and Blunt Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum). They are planted in the Pollinator Garden, Southern Living Garden, and Sunny Native Garden.
Blunt Mountain Mint was discovered in Pennsylvania by French botanist Andre Michaux in 1790. Michaux named the plant and gave it to Thomas Jefferson for his gardens in Monticello. Muticum is Latin for blunt. www.monticelloshop.org
Information and Photos by Jeanne Pavero