Virginia Mountain Mint

Virginia Mountain Mint


Virginia Mountain Mint

Virginia Mountain Mint is a unique plant with a unique story. Sweet and intense, this herb helps ease painful, throbbing, and burning joints and muscles.Virginia mountain-mint is a stout perennial, becoming multi-branched toward top of its 2-3 ft. height. Tiny, white, mint-like flowers, often spotted with purple, are arranged in numerous small, dense clusters. The clusters, which bloom only a few at a time, arise from leaf axils at the stem tips. The foliage of this leafy plant is covered with a whitish bloom. This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


The plant was listed on her 1951 inventory of plants in the Garden at that time. Cary George noted planting it in 1995. It is native to Minnesota and is found in most counties with most exceptions the very north and far NE. In North America it is found from the central plains eastward except for the southern coastal region. In Canada, east of Manitoba. There is little reference to this plant in the lore books. This is the only other member of this genus found in Minnesota on the current DNR survey list (2019). At one time P. flexuosum, Appalachian Mountain Mint was reported but it has never been collected. However, it is interesting that on July 28, 1918 Eloise Butler commented in her Garden Log that P. virginianum was the more fragrant species of the two and that P. flexuosum was indigenous in the northwest gentian meadow of the Garden.

Scientific name authorship: The original description of this plant was given by 'L.' which refers to Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), Swedish botanist and the developer of the binomial nomenclature of modern taxonomy. Then two others revised his work - - ‘T.Dur.’ is for Theophile Alexis Durand (1855-1912) French/Belgian botanist and ‘B.D.Jacks.’ is for Benjamin Daydon Jackson (1846-1927) English Botanist and author of Index Kewensis. The next two authors amended the work of those first two but give them credit by leaving their names in the chain - those final two (the 'ex') are ‘B.L.Rob.’ is for Benjamin Lincoln Robinson, (1864-1935) American Botanist and ‘Fernald’ is for Merritt Lyndon Fernald (1873-1950) American botanist, Harvard Professor, scholar of taxonomy, author of over 850 papers, editor of the 7th & 8th editions of Gray’s Manual of Botany. (Source: www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org)



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