Mentha arvensis is a perennial herb, 20-80 cm tall, colonial from rhizomes; stems 4-sided sharply angled, hollow, upper parts hairy, crushed plant mint scented. Winter plant with sharply 4-sided stem, opposite branches, calyxes tubular, radially symmetrical, sharply 4-lobed (Levine 1995).
Leaves opposite, short-stalked, blade 2-8 cm long, 0.6-4 cm wide (Yatskievych 2006), rhombic-elliptic, tip long-pointed, base often tapered to stalk, surface usually puckered by impressed veins, margin toothed.
Flowers white to lilac, 0.4-0.7 cm long , tubular, 4-lobed, appearing nearly radially symmetrical but upper lobe, notched at tip, wider than other lobes; calyx hairy, 0.3 cm long, tubular, 4-lobed, nearly radially symmetrical; stamens 4, longer than corolla, anthers purple; stigma 2-lobed, ovary superior, deeply 4-parted; inflorescence of small axillary cushions surrounding stem at upper nodes; blooms July-Sept.
Fruit dry, of 4 nutlets, each ca 0.1 cm wide, tan. Fruit matures July-Oct. (Fern 2004).
Wetland status: FACW.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Origin: Circumboreal, N. America, Asia and Europe.
Habitat: Open, wet soil, pH 5-7. Somewhat tolerant of shade, intolerant of drought and anaerobic soil. (USDA, NRCS 2006).
Notes: Apparently edible as tea. May have medicinal uses. Repellant to various insects and rodents (Fern 2004).