Mentha spicata L. - Spearmint
Family - Lamiaceae
Stems - To .75m tall, glabrous, 4-angled, from creeping rhizomes.
Leaves - Opposite, sessile or on very short petioles, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, toothed, to +7cm long, 3cm wide, glabrous above, glabrous or very sparsely pubescent below, very fragrant.
Inflorescence - Terminal spike of floral whorls (verticillasters). Bracts accompanying clusters linear, not longer than clusters.
Flowers - Corolla white to light lavender (lilac), 2-3mm long, 4-lobed, regular. Calyx 1.5-2mm long, 5-lobed, pubescent.
Flowering - June - October.
Habitat - Moist to wet ground.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other info. - This is the familiar "Spearmint" used to flavor teas, candies, and other products. The leaves give off the very distinctive scent when crushed.
Photograph taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 9-2-99.