Mentha spicata L.
spearmint
Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

Photograph

© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #10776)


Map

E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Mentha spicata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Illustration

If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

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

Avg

Min

Max

Elevation (metres)
776 762 790
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
# 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)

Habitat and Range

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

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Synonyms

Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Mentha cordifolia auct.
Mentha longifolia auct. non (L.) Huds. [misapplied]
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.