Mentha arvensis (Wild Mint)

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Scientific Name

Mentha arvensis L.

Common Names

Wild Mint, Corn Mint, Field Mint, Common Mint

Synonyms 

Calamintha arvensis, Mentha agrestis, Mentha albae-carolinae, Mentha alberti, Mentha allionii, Mentha angustifolia, Mentha anomala, Mentha approximata, Mentha arenaria, Mentha arguta, Mentha argutissima, Mentha arvensihirsuta

Scientific Classification

Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Mentheae
Genus: Mentha

Flower

Color: Pale purple
Bloom Time: Summer

Description

Mentha arvensis is a herbaceous perennial plant up to 2 feet (60 cm). It has a creeping rootstock from which grow erect or semi-sprawling squarish stems. The leaves are in opposite pairs, simple, up to 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) long and up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) wide, hairy, and with a coarsely serrated margin. The flowers are pale purple (occasionally white or pink), in whorls on the stem at the bases of the leaves. Each flower is up to 0.15 inch (4 mm) long and has a five-lobed hairy calyx, a four-lobed corolla with the uppermost lobe larger than the others and four stamens. The fruit is a two-chambered carpel.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 4a to 8b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that grows well in shady areas, although it can handle full sun if kept watered.

Cuttings of Mint will root easily in soil or water and mature plants can be divided and transplanted. However you can start new plants from seed. Sow outdoors in late spring or start seed indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost. Keep soil moist until seed germinates.

Mint prefers a rich, moist soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.5 and 7.0. If the soil is somewhat lean, top dress yearly with organic matter and apply an organic fertilizer mid-season, after shearing.

To contain the roots and limit spreading, you can grow Mint in containers, above or sunk into the ground. Be careful to keep container Mints from flopping over and touching the ground. Stems will root quickly, if given the chance… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mint Plants

Origin

Native to the temperate regions of Europe and western and central Asia, east to the Himalaya and eastern Siberia, and North America.

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