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Pakistan | Family List | Labiatae | Mentha

6. Mentha spicata L., Sp. Pl. 576. 1753. Wealth of India, Raw Materials, 6: 344. 1962; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 618. 1972; Harley in Davis, Fl. Turkey 7: 391. 1982; Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 150: 569. 1982; Press in Hara et al., Enum. Pl. Nepal 3: 158. 1982.

I.C. Hedge

  • Mentha pudina Buch.-Ham. ex Benth.
  • Mentha viridis (L.) L.

    Perennial with a pleasantly aromatic smell, green. Stems 30-60 cm, erect, quadrangular, leafy, usually branched above, glabrous. Leaves ovate-oblong to narrow lanceolate, 2-6 x 0.5-1.5 cm, serrate, broadly cuneate, acute to acuminate, glabrous, gland-dotted below; petiole ± absent to 2 mm. Verticillasters not in upper leaf axils, forming long slender elongated spikes, distant or approximating above. Bracts linear to linear-lanceolate, shorter than to as long as flowers. Calyx 1.5-2 mm, glabrous and gland-dotted, or with eglandular-ciliate hairs on teeth; teeth ± equal, narrow triangular. Corolla white or pale pink, c. 2.5 mm. Nutlets dark brown.

    Lectotype: (selected by Tucker et al., l.c. 234 and fig. 2): Europe, (Herb Clifford - BM).

    The ± linear bracts, longer than the flowers, are sometimes characteristic for the species, although the same feature is also apparent in Menthe longifolia and Menthe royleana. Harley (l.c. 393) gives an account of the variation of this species, based partly on cytological evidence. He regards the commonly cultivated spearmint (such as the specimens cited above) as glabrous strains of subsp. spicata and suggests that it has been cultivated in SW Asia for a very long time.

    In Europe and SW Asia, hairy wild forms of Menthe spicata approach Menthe longifolia very closely.


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