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

Mentha arvensis L.
field mint (wild mint)
Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #71145)

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Distribution of Mentha arvensis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome; stems ascending or erect, 10-80 cm tall, single or branched, 4-angled, hairy, some of the hairs pointed downward on the angles; smells minty.
Opposite, usually elliptic, vary from lanceolate to nearly circular, 2-8 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, more or less hairy, shallowly round- to sharp-toothed, tips pointed, bases tapered or rounded; short-stalked.
Inflorescence of many-flowered, separated, axillary clusters; bracts leaf-like, the upper reduced somewhat but always longer than flowers; corollas tubular, light purple, 4-7 mm long, 4-lobed, the lobes nearly alike; calyces bell-shaped, 2-3 mm long, hairy, the teeth short, slightly longer than wide, triangular, blunt to sharp-pointed.
Nutlets, 4 clustered together, egg-shaped.
Mentha x verticillata L. (M. arvensis x M. aquatica) has been reported from the lower Fraser Valley.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet marshes, meadows, thickets, and stream and lake margins in the lowland and montane zones; common throughout BC; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to DE, MO and CA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Mentha arvensis

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




Elevation (metres) 0 774 1740
Slope Gradient (%) 0 1 57
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 202 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(16), BWBS(5), CDF(9), CWH(74), ESSF(1), ICH(55), IDF(111), MH(1), MS(18), PP(17), SBPS(8), SBS(55)


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 arvensis subsp. borealis (Michx.) Roy L. Taylor & MacBryde
Mentha arvensis subsp. haplocalyx Briq.
Mentha arvensis subsp. villosa
Mentha arvensis var. arvensis
Mentha arvensis var. canadensis (L.) Kuntze
Mentha arvensis var. glabrata (Benth.) Fern.
Mentha arvensis var. lanata Piper
Mentha arvensis var. sativa auct. non Benth. [misapplied]
Mentha arvensis var. villosa (Benth.) S.R. Stewart
Mentha gentilis L.
Mentha glabrior (Hook.) Rydb.
Mentha penardii (Briq.) Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References