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Mentha spicata
SPEARMINT

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MINT FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub [tree, vine], glabrous to hairy, generally aromatic. Stem: generally erect, generally 4-angled. Leaf: generally simple to deeply lobed, generally opposite, generally gland-dotted. Inflorescence: generally cymes, generally many in dense axillary clusters surrounding stem, generally separated by evident internodes or collectively crowded, spike- or panicle-like, occasionally head-like or raceme, subtended by leaves or bracts; flowers sessile or pedicelled. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx generally 5-lobed, radial to bilateral; corolla generally bilateral, 1--2-lipped, upper lip entire or 2-lobed, +- flat to hood-like, occasionally 0, lower lip generally 3-lobed; stamens generally 4, epipetalous, generally exserted, paired, pairs generally unequal, occasionally 2, staminodes 2 or 0; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed to base chambers 2, ovules 2 per chamber, style 1, generally arising from center at junction of lobes, stigmas generally 2. Fruit: generally 4 nutlets, generally ovoid to oblong, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 230 genera, 7200 species: worldwide. Many cultivated for herbs, oils (Lavandula, lavender; Mentha, mint; Rosmarinus, rosemary; Thymus, thyme), some cultivated as ornamental (in California Cedronella, Leonotis, Monarda, Phlomis). Note: Moluccella laevis L., shell flower, historical waif in California. Satureja calamintha (L.) Scheele subsp. ascendens (Jordan) Briq. reported as alien but not naturalized. Salazaria moved to Scutellaria; California Hyptis moved to Condea, California Satureja moved to Clinopodium.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken & Margriet Wetherwax, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MenthaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MINT
Habit: Perennial herb from rhizomes, glabrous to hairy. Stem: generally ascending to erect, generally branched. Leaf: petioled to sessile; blade elliptic to ovate or lanceolate, toothed to lobed. Inflorescence: head-like in leaf axils or collectively spike- or panicle-like and subtended by bracts. Flower: calyx +- radial, generally 10-veined, lobes 4--5, equal or not; corolla +- 2-lipped, lips generally equal, upper lip notched, lower lip 3-lobed; stamens 4, +- equal, generally exserted, filaments glabrous, anthers segments parallel, distinct. Fruit: nutlets +- ellipsoid, tip rounded.
Species In Genus: 18 species: temperate. North America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name for mint) Note: Cult for oils, flavoring, herbs. Hybrids in California generally sterile, spreading from rhizomes.
Unabridged Note: Many cultivated and naturalized populations derived from hybridization, generally polyploid, some sterile, reproducing vegetatively.
eFlora Treatment Author: Arthur O. Tucker

Mentha spicata L.
NATURALIZED
Stem: 3--10(12) dm, glabrous. Leaf: 1--6 cm, petiole 0--2 mm; blade lanceolate to lance-oblong, smooth to wrinkled, base rounded to obtuse, tip acute to acuminate, generally serrate. Inflorescence: spike-like, bracts subtending flower clusters ovate to lance-linear. Flower: calyx 1.5--2.5 mm, generally glabrous; corolla 3--4 mm, white to pink or lavender. Chromosomes: 2n=48.
Ecology: Moist places, marshes, lakeshores, fields; Elevation: < 2350 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA; Distribution Outside California: to eastern United States; native to Europe. Flowering Time: Jul--Oct Note: Male-sterile plants indistinguishable from Mentha ×villoso-nervata Opiz with 2n=36, a hybrid of Mentha spicata × Mentha longifolia; native to Europe.
eFlora Treatment Author: Arthur O. Tucker
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Citation for this treatment: Arthur O. Tucker 2016. Mentha spicata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=33209, accessed on May 05, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 05, 2016.


Mentha spicata
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Mentha spicata
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Mentha spicata
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Mentha spicata
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell
Mentha spicata
click for enlargement
© 2015 Barry Breckling
Mentha spicata
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Mentha spicata in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Mentha spicata:
CA;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.