Mentha spicata

Family: Lamiaceae


Synonym: Mentha viridis

Native to: Europe, Southwest Asia


Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect

Leaves evergreen






Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bee, specific butterfly species

Plant features: evergreen, naturalizes

Edible: herb

Exposure: sun

Landscape uses: container, foliage aromatic, ground cover

Propagates by: seed

Soil type: wide range

USDA Zones: zone 1 below -50 f, zone 2 -50 f, zone 3 -40 f, zone 4 -30 f, zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f, zone 10 to +30 f

Temp. range: below -50 to +40 °F

Water: regular

  • Mentha spicata 2
  • Mentha spicata 3
  • Mentha spicata 4 2
  • Mentha spicata 4
  • Mentha spicata

There are 56 species of Mentha, or MINTS, a Lamiaceae. Most are easily cultivated by division and will grow in Zones 1-10. They prefer regular watering. Some MINTS are invasive so controlling them in a garden setting is wise. The culinary attributes of M. piperita and M. spicata are legion - the other species are not cultivated for human consumption. M. puleguium is toxic - do not eat it! Mentha gattefossei grows to 2½ feet tall.

This mint is edible.

Mentha attracts:
Atalopedes campestris, Sachem
Celastrina argiolus
Colias harfordii, Harford's Sulphur
Echinargus isola, Reakirt's Blue
Euphyes vestris, Dun Skipper
Euptoieta claudia, Variegated Fritillary
Junonia coenia, Common Buckeye
Pholisora catullus, Common Sootywing
Pieris rapae, Cabbage White
Speyeria hesperis, Northwestern Fritillary
Staphylus hayhurstii, Hayhurst's Scallopwing
Strymon melinus, Gray Hairstreak

Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

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