Lamiaceae or Mint Family
Low plant, 1 to 3 feet tall. Leaves opposite each
other, stalkless or nearly so, egg-shaped, toothed, with
strongly marked veins and a strong spearmint odor. Flowers
very small, pale pink or purple, in long interrupted spikes 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 damp places.
Square stems, opposite, strongly smelling leaves, and flowers
in a terminal spike are characteristic of mints (Genus Mentha).
Peppermint (M. X piperita) is similar, but has a shorter,
fatter flower head that is mostly not interrupted, and the
larger leaves have distinct stalks.