Plants We Like: Pycnanthemum or Mountain Mint


Pycnanthemum muticum or mountain mint is one of my new favorite perennial plants. Not only does it have a sweet white-pink flower, the leaves and stems have an almost icy appearance. It is lighting up one of the darker spots of a shady forest area in my front yard. I am planning to add lots more of it (plant gluttony, again) throughout that area. Although it is not supposed to do well in deep shade, rather preferring full sun to part shade, I am going to experiment a bit to see how deep into the shade it will thrive. Already now, on the edge of sun and shade, it is doing a good job of lighting up the area. It is native to the US in zones 4-8. It’s height and spread is from 1-3 feet. It blooms from July to September. It tolerates some dryness and attracts butterflies and bees. It is not bothered by insects or deer. It can be used to make tea and may be used as insect repellant when rubbed on the skin. So many virtues!DETA-246

9 thoughts on “Plants We Like: Pycnanthemum or Mountain Mint

  1. Mountain mint is one of our favorite plants at the Squire Rich Museum herb garden in Brecksville. We see herds of very small, blue wasps that hover all around the blossoms in addition to the bees and small butterflies. We use it as an opportunity to educate kids, and their parents, about the importance of pollinators.

    1. Thank you, Jo Ann, for confirming the value of mountain mint. Which other plants would you recommend from your herb garden at the Squire Rich Museum?

  2. A few years ago I planted the Mountain Mint in the Fragrance section of the Western Reserve Herb Garden at CBG. We have been amazed at the number and variety of pollinators that visit the plants. The plants are a great conversation starter.

  3. I like the fact that the deer don’t enjoy them. A big problem in our back yard.

    Any local sources for the plant?


  4. Catherine, I have about15′ of pynanthemum muticum in full shade along the driveway, and it does fine, as do the pollinators. Come check if you want to see — you can do it too!

  5. Once again, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes has sold these the past 2 years at the May Plant Sale. Otherwise, near Columbus, try Scioto Nursery.

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