Randalls Island Park Alliance

Nector Sector: Pycanthemum muticum

In What's in Bloom on March 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

By Phyllis Odessey

“Mint descends from the Latin word menthe, which is rooted in the Greek word minthe, personified in Greek mythology as Minthe, a nymph who was transformed into a mint plant.” Wikipedia
Pycanthemum muticum, common name Mountain Mint, is a plant that I was introduced to by John Gunderson, a former member of the Horticulture Crew and currently a gardener at The High Line.

I was shocked when John first proposed putting mint , any mint in the Water’s Edge Garden.  I associate the mint plant with being  invasive and spreading everywhere.  I am happy to say I was wrong.

Pychnanthemum muticum is a what I call a “nector sector”.  It provides nector and pollen for butterflies and other pollinators.

Here are some other benefits:

  • Stem clumps provide a dense ground cover for wildflife
  • Seed heads provide winter cover for insects
  • Deer resistance
  • Thrives in a variety of conditions.
  • Native
  • Pinkish/white flowers in summer
  • Showy silver bracts
  • Leaves can be rubbed on skin as a mosquito repellent


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