Spearmint, English Mint
Mentha spicata L. is the accepted scientific name for this species of Mentha. Both the genus AND species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
As of 1-2-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 24 species in the Mentha genus. It is a member of the plant family Lamiaceae with 232 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.
I bought this Mentha spicata from a local garden club plant sale in May 2017. This was the first year I have grown any kind of mint so I was anxious to get it planted where it could grow and spread as it pleased. I had a perfect spot, hopefully, in front of the chicken house. Provided it doesn’t get to much shade.
Origin: See links below.
Zones: USDA Zones 4a-11 (-30 to 40° F).
Size: 12-18” tall.
Light: Sun to part shade.
Soil: Average, well-drained.
Water: Average water needs.
Drought tolerant once established.
Pardon the grass growing in the photos… There is always plenty to do on the farm and sometimes I get a little behind. Sometimes I am just not in the mood and I can think of plenty of reasons. I need to start applying a layer of leaves for mulch which will help a lot. I did that in Mississippi and it worked very well.
In 2018 the Spearmint barely grew so I didn’t take any photos. It didn’t return after that.
Then, in 2021, I think I brought home three plants from the same local garden club’s plant sale. I didn’t take photos at the time, so I forgot whether I brought home one or three plants. GEEZ! In fact, I didn’t take any photos of them at all in 2021. Well, they grew like crazy and put on quite a display of flowers.
Not only did they return, but they also spread like crazy!
I was somewhat in doubt these plants were Mentha spicata because their leaves are rounded at the tips.
The leaves, especially the under surface are slightly pubescent (hairy), and have kind of a rough fuzzy feeling…
The stems are also pubescent. The Missouri Plants website says the stems are glabrous, but that would mean they are smooth… Hmmm… The stems are also square. I have identified over 250 wildflowers but I have a lot of questions about this plant!
I intended to get some good photos when the plants were more upright, but the next thing I knew we had wind and rain, and down they went…
I am sure they will be back in 2023 in abundance. I always wanted a mint that would do well and I think this time they are here to stay. I had no idea they would spread as much as they did. GEEZ!
In 2023, I plan to take more photos of the stems, leaves, and flowers (close-ups). I’m still not sure these are Mentha spicata so if you have any suggestions, I would like to hear from you.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.