Common name: Spearmint
Mentha spicata L. APNI*
Synonyms: Mentha x spicata L. APNI*
Description: Herb to 1 m high, rhizomatous, frequently rooting at nodes; branches ascending, tinged purple, glabrous or with scattered simple hairs.
Leaves with lamina narrow-ovate or oblong-ovate, 2–9 cm long, 1–35 mm wide; apex obtuse; base cordate; margins toothed or crenate; sessile.
Inflorescence terminal; clusters dense, many-flowered, subtended by linear to variously lobed bracts. Calyx 10-veined, equally fused to half its length, glabrous or hairy. Corolla 3–4 mm long, lilac, pink or white. Anthers ± exserted.
Flowering: mostly January–March
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in damp areas of drains and creeks. Origin unknown, widely cultivated and naturalized throughout Eur.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *CWS, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A.
The origin of this taxon is unknown, but it probably arose in cultivation. It is here treated as a fertile hybrid, but is sometimes given species status.
Text by B. J. Conn, edit A.E. Orme 2019
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.