Mentha suaveolens is a perennial herb colonial from rhizomes, stems stout, 0.4-1 m tall, 4-sided, usually hairy, plant strongly, sweet-aromatic.
Leaves opposite, stalk little to none, blade 2-5 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, densely, softly, whitish hairy, tip rounded to barely pointed, base usually lobed, sometimes clasping, margin coarsely toothed.
Flowers bluish-white, tubular, ca 0.3 cm long, petal lobes, 4, nearly equal, stamens 4, as long or longer than petal lobes, calyx hairy, 0.1-0.2 cm long, lobes 5, linear nearly equal; inflorescence terminal spikes 3-15 cm long, 0.5-1 cm wide, with dense whorls of flowers and small bracts at nodes; seen blooming Sept.-Oct. Apparently pollinated by bees (Fern 2004).
Fruit dry, of 4 nutlets.
Wetland status: FACW.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Origin: s. Europe.
Habitat: Cultivated. Escaped, or possibly planted, in open areas. This colony probably destroyed in a wetland restoration.
Notes: Culinary herb, also used as a ground cover but tends to be invasive. Attractive to butterflies (PlantFinder. 2007). Repellent to rats and mice (Fern 2004).