Mint to Be
A polite mint that spreads slowly and won't take over the whole garden?!? Mountain Mint, or 'Pycnanthemum muticum' is a Virginia native plant and member of the mint family (lamiaceae). It was first discovered by the French botanist Andre Michaux in 1790, when he found masses of the plant growing in Pennsylvania. Although the common name is Mountain Mint, it actually does not grow in mountainous regions, but rather in open, moist fields and forest edges, often located along the lower elevations of a mountain. And while it is a mint and will do a bit of spreading, it is a great ‘weed-suppressing’ plant and does not spread as invasively as other common mint plants.
The flowers open over a 3 month period beginning in June and are a great source of nectar for bees, beneficial wasps, moths and butterflies! In fact, it is rare that the plants are not a flurry of activity when in bloom. Much like a typical mint, the foliage is very aromatic when rubbed and is popular in teas and salads. It is also very effective at repelling mosquitoes when rubbed on the skin. This aroma is also a useful tool in eliminating deer browse! This plant is a great addition to any beds that are MINT to feed the pollinators! Want to check it out for yourself? Come to Downtown Greens in the lower garden by the stone circle and grab a whiff!
Janet Douberly won’t take over the whole garden at Downtown Greens.
This article was originally published in the June 2023 edition of Front Porch Magazine. Read the full publication by using the link below.