Plant Image
Flower spike
Lynx Creek below Highlands Center - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Mentha spicata - spearmint

Synonyms: Mentha cordifolia, Mentha longifolia, Mentha sylvestris, Mentha viridis
Other Common Names: bush mint (spearmint), (Spanish: hierbabuena, yerba buena)
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Lamiaceae

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Flower spike
Lynx Creek below Highlands Center
Sue Smith
Lynx Creek below Highlands Center
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Lynx Creek below Highlands Center
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Perennial   Similar Species: Mentha arvensis
General Desc: Perennial rhizomatous forb; herbage spearmint scented; leaves opposite, ovate, serrated, 3/4 to 2 inches long; stems often purplish; flowers pale purple, in dense spikes at ends of branches.
Identification notes: Leaves oblong, hairless (occasionally branched-hairy underneath), spearmint-scented. Flowers in terminal spikes distinguishes this species from M. arvensis.
Height: 12 to 48 inches


Habitat Description: Found along streams in wet soils.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: Below 7000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pale lavender, light purple or pink     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Jul - Sep
Description: Spikes slender, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches long in fruit.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaf blades ovate, serrate and subsessile, 3/4 to 2-1/2 inches long, hairless or sparingly covered with coarse hairs.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Light purple   
Fruit Type: Nutlet
Fruit Notes: Smooth.

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Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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