Virginia Mountain Mint, Pycnanthenum virginianum

Virginia Mountain Mint

Pycnanthenum virginianum

Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Summer
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Moist, Wet
Color: White
Fragrance: Yes
Height: 1 - 3 feet
Spacing: 1 foot


Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum ) is somewhat misleading since the plant typically occurs in moist soils in wet meadows, swamps and along streams and ponds. An erect, many-branched, herbaceous perennial that grows 2-3 feet tall and features narrow, toothless, tapering leaves and profuse, somewhat flat-topped, terminal clusters of small, white, 2-lipped flowers which bloom in mid to late summer. All parts of the plant emit a strong, mint-like aroma when crushed. . The blooming period occurs during the middle of summer and lasts about a month. Each small flower produces 4 tiny, finely pitted, dull black seeds. These seeds are distributed to some extent by the wind. The root system produces rhizomes, which spread a short distance from the mother plant. Soon, a small colony of plants are formed vegetatively.

Habitats include moist sand prairies, moist meadows in woodland areas, thickets, fens, swamps, and rocky bluffs.

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  When damaged, the foliage releases a strong mint scent.
  Has been used in teas.
  During drought, the lower leaves will turn yellow and fall off.
Further Information

Wild Ones of the Fox Valley Area
Prairie Nursery
Wisconsin DNR
Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries