SPECIES DESCRIPTION
MENTHA SPICATA

Family and Genus:- See- LABIATAE/Sect. MENTHA/M. SPICATA Group

Common Names:- Spearmint

Homotypic Synonyms:- None

Meaning:- Mentha (Gr) A name used by Pliny for mint.
                  Spicata (L) With spike-like inflorescence.
               
General description:- Perennial,  with a strong, sweet scent, less frequently with
a pungent or musty scent.

Stems:-
1) To 30-100 cm, glabrous or sparsely hairy.

Leaves:-
1) (30-)50-90 x (7-)15-30 mm, lanceolate or lanceolate-ovate, smooth or rugose
    (rarely 40-60 x 25-40 mm, ovate or ovate-oblong, strongly rugose), widest near
    the base, serrate with regular teeth (rarely the whole leaf strongly crispate),
    glabrous to densely hairy, the hairs on the lower surface both simple and
    branched, the basal cell 30-47 m in diam.

Flower:-
1) Inflorescence, variable.
2) Calyx, 1-3 mm, campanulate, glabrous or hairy, teeth subequal.
3) Corolla, lilac, pink or white.
4) Fertile anthers,  038-052 mm.

Fruit:-
1) Nutlets, 074-094 mm, reticulate in hairy plants, smooth in glabrous plants.

Key features:-
1) Some branched hairs usually present on the leaves beneath.
2) Leaves, widest near the base.
3) Fertile anthers, 038-052 mm.
4) Stems, and leaves glabrous or sparsely hairy.

Click here for a glossary of terms used.

Habitat:- Damp habitats, streams, ditches, waste ground, cultivated land and
gardens. 0-1200 m.

Distribution:- Scattered throughout Greece. - A very variable species of uncertain
native distribution. Limited distribution across Crete, probably under recorded.

Flowering time:- Apr-Sept.

Photos by:- Steve Lenton