Peppermint, Mentha X
Lamiaceae or Mint Family
Low plant, 1 to 3 feet tall. Leaves opposite each
other, egg-shaped, toothed, with strongly marked veins and a
strong peppermint odor. Larger leaves with distinct
stalks. Flowers very small, pale pink or purple, in
rounded heads at the top of the stalk. Individual flowers
have 4 flaring lobes, the upper lobe larger. Stems square
in cross-section. Blooms in summer.
Introduced exotic plant of wet places, frequently cultivated.
In Wildwood, occasional in wet spots, especially in the wetland
just within the Main Street entrance.
Square stems, opposite, strongly smelling leaves, and flowers
in a terminal spike are characteristic of mints (Genus Mentha).
Spearmint (M. spicata) is similar, but has a longer,
narrow flower head that is interrupted, and the leaves are
stalkless or nearly so.