Mint ID

ctnchprJuly 20, 2008

There's a mint growing in my woods, and after some research, I think it may be Whiteleaf Mountainmint (Pycnanthemum albescens). How close am I?

The crushed leaves have a pleasantly pungent scent, somewhere between Eucalyptus and patchouli, with just a hint of male cat urine thrown in. :-)


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Yes to Pycnanthemum, but I am not familiar with the one you named. According to the website below, it does not grow in NC. They are many Pycnanthemums, and they all spread as most mints. The ones I see are alongside the roads, in full sun, up in the mountains. They can compete very well with the hardpan soil and gravel there...and smell wonderful! Oops. Just previewed my posting, and this website has great photos but not the geographical distribution, which I saw on another site. Oh, well. Maybe it will help a little.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pycnanthemum

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 4:33PM
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Thanks, ncrescue! The plants on the link you gave look just like my plants, so for now, I'm calling them Whiteleaf Mountainmint.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 10:32PM
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Soeur(z6b TN)

Pycnanthemums can be difficult to ID -- albescens/montanum/incanum/muticum/virginianum don't differ that much. Of the species I'm familiar with, your pics look most like Pycnanthemum incanum. Incanum is pretty widespread, and has the more ovate leaves as seen in your pics. Albescens leaves tend to be more lanceolate and more deeply toothed. But then, there's a fair bit of variation within all species, and certainly within this genus. I've wondered whether Pycnanthemums in that complex intergrade or hybridize, as there have been some I simply couldn't ID with certainty due to characteristics of more than one species on a single plant.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:49AM
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