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Maybe a Mentha

Posted by jekeesl Central AR 7b (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 23:08

I found highly branched plants this morning that were about 4 feet tall. They had leaves to 1 inch wide by 3 inches long on 0.6 inch long petioles that were smooth. Stems were also mostly smooth. The flowers were just developing from leaf axils toward the top of the plants as shown. I did not find any hairs in the inflorescence. Although the plants had a strong aroma of spearmint when bruised, they did not key to any of the local species in this area. I’m sure that the species would be easier to determine if the plants were mature. However, this field may be mowed before that event occurs. Is this M. aquatica? It doesn’t seem like the flowers will be clustered tightly enough around the stem for that species. I guess I should mention that the lower peduncle in the second photo is about 0.75 inch long (for perspective).

 photo Mentha4.jpg

 photo Mentha9.jpg

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Maybe a Mentha

Do post this one when it blooms. Owing to the pedicels and peduncle I'm thinking it's in a different genus.

This post was edited by saltcedar on Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 13:59

RE: Maybe a Mentha

Thanks saltcedar. I worked through all of the Labiatae options in the Arkansas keys, and didn't find anything that seemed likely. I'll post back when there are mature flowers.

RE: Maybe a Mentha

Saltcedar asked for a follow-up post when these plants bloomed. They had clusters of flowers on stem ends, as shown below. I believe they are Bergamot Mint (Mentha citrata), because of those rows of pale, yellow glands on the sepals.

 photo BergamotMint6.jpg

RE: Maybe a Mentha

First Ligustrum; now Mentha, wish these plants (genera)
would stick to their botanical descriptions!

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