Hoary Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum incanum
Lamiaceae or Mint Family


Low plant, 1 to 3 feet tall, with stems square in cross-section. Flowers white to pale lilac, with purple spots, in dense bristly heads or whorls. Leaves opposite each other, egg-shaped, pinted, toothed. Upper leaves and undersides of lower leaves whitened, appearing almost diseased. Blooms in late summer.

Odd-looking native of dry woods and hillsides. Important butterfly plant. Occasional in the Park on the bluffs along Wildwood Drive; unfortunately becoming rarer.

The unhealthy, but quite normal, look of the leaves is distinctive and good for identification. Southern mountain mint is very similar, but the bristles in the flowerheads are even longer.