Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mountain mint

This herb is something of a mystery. I purchased it a few years ago at a local native plant nursery because I had read that it was a good plant to attract pollinators. It was labeled only as *mountain mint* and I've not been able to figure out today what variety I have. It looks like it might be short-toothed mountain mint, but I'm not very sure of that.

It's a nondescript plant and doesn't *do* much more than you see in these pics - no big showy flowers here. Just these tiny white ones that seem mostly to attract equally tiny flying insects that I can't identify. It's growing among the swamp milkweed, joe pye weed, and bee balm so it tends to disappear among its more showy neighbors. I like the cool green color of the foliage.

I found quite a few references to the medicinal properties of this plant and one reference stated that it was believed by Native Americans to have strong medicine capable of *reviving the dead*.

6 comments:

Susan Gets Native said...

The leaves look so soft and cool...just what we need in all this darn heat! Is it as bad there as it is here?

Capable of "reviving the dead"? Sounds like it would be good after a long night of partying.

Wayne said...

Nice catch! I'm very fond of mountain mint. It's well behaved and I too like the frosty leaves.

Another that I really like is giant purple hyssop - it seems well behaved too. Both produce flowers that bees and butterflies love.

pablo said...

I'd probably say that this mint could revive the "apparently" dead. Glad to hear it is not invasive like so many other mints want to be.

LauraHinNJ said...

Wayne: Thanks for dropping by. Hyssop is a favorite of mine, too. Not sure that I have any growing this year. I haven't seen any bees or butterflies on the mountain mint, just tiny bee flies(?)

Laura said...

A little late in posting here, but we used to have a lot of this in KY. It's a gorgeous plant, really. If you pick and dry it, you can burn some like incense and it smells almost like white sage. Very nice.

LauraHinNJ said...

Sounds nice, Laura. White sage doesn't grow here (that's a western plant, right?) but I do have a favorite white sage and citrus candle.