Virginia mountain mint

(Pycnanthemum virginianum)

Conservation Status
Virginia mountain mint
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative


FACW - Facultative wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland


Virginia mountain mint is a 12 to 36 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from spreading rhizomes. It often forms colonies.

The stems are erect, square, green or reddish, and frequently branched above the middle. There are short, white hairs mainly along the ridges.

The leaves are numerous, opposite, stalkless, and narrowly lance-shaped or lance linear. The main leaves are 13 16 to 2 long, and to wide, the upper leaves much smaller. The upper surface is hairless. The lower surface often has short, soft hairs along the midvein. The margins are untoothed and rough to the touch. There is a prominent midvein and 3 or 4 pairs of lateral veins. The uppermost lateral veins arise near the middle of the leaf. Crushed leaves have a strong mint scent.

The inflorescence is a branched arrangement of multiple compact, flat-topped, head-like clusters at the end of the stem and branches. The inflorescence is about 3 wide. Each cluster is about ¾ wide and is composed of up to 50 flowers. Only a few flowers in each head are open at the same time.

The flowers are about ¼ long and usually white, occasionally pinkish or pale lavender. There are 5 petals fused at the base into a corolla tube then separated into an upper and lower lip. The upper lip is erect and unlobed, and may be notched. The lower lip is bent backward, divided into a central lobe and 2 shorter lateral lobes, and sometimes spotted with pink or violet. There are 4 stamens protruding sligjtly from the corolla tube. Each stamen has an anther that is yellow to pink when fresh, soon turning brownish-red when dry. There is a style with 2 stigmas protruding well beyond the corolla tube.

The fruit is a dark brown, egg-shaped or oval nutlet about 1 32 long.




12 to 36


Flower Color




Similar Species


Narrow-leaved mountain mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) stems are hairless. The leaves are linear, narrower, mostly 1 16 to wide. The largest leaves are never more than ¼ wide. There are only 1 or 2, sometimes 3, pairs of lateral veins. All lateral vein arises in the lower quarter of the leaf. Crushed leaves have almost no scent.


Dry, moderate, or wet. Prairies, upland woods, meadows, roadsides.




July to September


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Lamiales (mints, plantains, olives, and allies)  


Lamiaceae (mint)  
  Subfamily Nepetoideae  
  Tribe Mentheae  


Menthinae (balms, mints, and thymes)  
  Genus Pycnanthemum (mountain mint)  


  Koellia virginiana  

Common Names


common mountain mint

Virginia mountain mint

Virginia mountain-mint

Virginia mountainmint













Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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    Virginia mountain mint   Virginia mountain mint  
    Virginia mountain mint   Virginia mountain mint  


    Virginia mountain mint   Virginia mountain mint  
    Virginia mountain mint      


    Virginia mountain mint   Virginia mountain mint  
    Virginia mountain mint      



  Pycnanthemum virginianum COMMON MOUNTAIN MINT
Frank Mayfield
  Pycnanthemum virginianum COMMON MOUNTAIN MINT  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Minnesota Native Plant - Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum Virginianum)

Published on Aug 11, 2013

The Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum Virginianum) is a great accent of white color for your native planting! This plant attracts lots of insects and butterflies.

  Plume moth forages on Virginia Mountain-mint
Robert Klips

Published on Aug 3, 2014

Plumes moths (Order Lepdoptera, Family Pterophoridae) are small airplane-shaped flower visitors. Virginia mountain-mint is a prairie plant that is shown here cultivated in an urban backyard in Columbus Ohio, USA on August 3, 2014.

  Honeybee forages on Mountain mint
Robert Klips

Uploaded on Jul 17, 2011

Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum) is a prairie perennial wildflower that is attractive to bees.




Visitor Sightings

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Afton State Park

Baker Park Reserve

Buffalo River State Park

Butternut Valley Prairie SNA

Cedar Rock SNA

Chippewa Prairie

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Des Moines River SNA

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Felton Prairie SNA, Bicentennial Unit

Felton Prairie SNA, Shrike Unit

Felton WMA

Foxhome Prairie

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes Preserve

Glacial Lakes State Park

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Hythecker Prairie SNA

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Kasota Prairie SNA

Kettledrummer Prairie

Langhei Prairie SNA

Malmberg Prairie SNA

Margherita Preserve-Audubon Prairie

McKnight Prairie

Minneopa State Park

Mound Prairie SNA

Myre-Big Island State Park

Neal WMA

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Hoffman Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Pavia Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Rengstorf Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Spieker Unit

Ordway Prairie

Otter Tail Prairie SNA

Pankratz Memorial Prairie, North Unit

Pembina Trail Preserve SNA, Crookston Prairie Unit

Pembina Trail Preserve SNA, Pembina Trail Unit

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Racine Prairie SNA

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake Savanna SNA

Richard M. & Mathilde Rice Elliott SNA

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Santee Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Schaefer Prairie

Sedan Brook SNA

Sheepberry Fen

Spring Prairie Preserve

Strandness Prairie

Thorson Prairie WMA

Town Hall Prairie

Twin Valley Prairie Addition

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

Tympanuchus Prairie

Verlyn Marth Memorial Prairie SNA

Western Prairie SNA

Zimmerman Prairie







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