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MENTHA spicata var. crispa

Image of Mentha spicata var. crispa

James H. Schutte

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

MENTHA spicata var. crispa

Plant Common Name

Curly Spearmint

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The vigorous herb, spearmint, is a hardy perennial that originates from Europe. It is grown for its wonderfully flavorful and fragrant leaves. Oil of spearmint is used to flavor gum, candy, toothpaste and mouthwash and its dried leaves make a nice medicinal tea. It has been valued for food and medicine since ancient times and was used in Egypt, Greece and Rome.

The clump-forming herbaceous perennial is an aggressive plant that spreads quickly by underground creeping stems called rhizomes. So, plant it only where you want it to spread. Its upright stems are lined with crisp bright green lance-shaped leaves that are highly fragrant. Fragrant spiky whorls of lilac-pink blooms top the leafy stems in summer. These draw bees in droves and are quite attractive.

Spearmint is very easy to grow and adaptable. It thrives in full to partial sun and evenly moist soil with average to good drainage. Because of its aggressive habit, it is best planted in a trough or container. Divide plants every couple of years.

There are several appealing spearmint cultivars such as the curly-leaved variety crispa and large-leaved sweet 'Kentucky Colonel.'

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Herb

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Lavender

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes