E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Mentha spicata L.
spearmint
Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10776)

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Distribution of Mentha spicata
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Species Information

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General:
Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome; stems erect, branched, 30-100 cm tall, glabrous, 4-angled; pungent (spearmint) smell.
Leaves:
Opposite, egg-shaped to lanceolate, 2-7 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, toothed, tips pointed, bases rounded, glabrous but often hairy along the main veins beneath, margins toothed; unstalked or nearly so, stalks less than 3 mm long.
Flowers:
Inflorescence of flower clusters crowded into terminal spikes 3-12 cm long and 0.5-1 cm wide (sometimes interrupted below) subtended by linear-lanceolate bracts; corollas tubular, 2-4 mm long, pale lavender to sometimes white, glabrous, 4-lobed, the lobes nearly equal; calyces 1.5-2 mm long, glabrous but often glandular, teeth margins usually stiff-hairy.
Fruits:
Nutlets, 4 clustered together, egg-shaped.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet disturbed areas, ditches and meadows in the lowland and montane zones; scattered throughout BC, more common southward; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Mentha spicata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 762 776 790
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
E
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
2
Modal BEC Zone Class
PP
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: IDF(1), PP(1)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Mentha cordifolia auct.
Mentha longifolia var. mollissima (Borkh.) Rouy
Mentha longifolia var. undulata (Willd.) Fiori
Mentha spicata var. longifolia L.
Mentha spicata var. spicata L. [superfluous autonym]
Mentha sylvestris L.
Mentha viridis L.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References