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Pycnanthemum incanum (L.) Michx.
Hoary mountain mint, Silverleaf mountain mint
USDA Symbol: PYIN
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
This stiff, erect, clump-forming mint has whitened leaves subtending the flower clusters. The minty-smelling plants are 3-6 ft. tall and have terminal flower clusters composed of numerous, small, two-lipped corollas varying from whitish to lavender, with purple spots. Small, white to lavender flowers in dense rounded clusters in leaf axils or atop a hairy square stem and branches; white bracts beneath flowers.
The genus name derives from the Greek for dense and flower and aptly describes the crowded flower clusters. The many species are closely related and difficult to distinguish from one another. These plants, particularly the flower clusters, have a very strong odor when crushed.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
, WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
to s. OH
& s. IL,
s. to GA
& MS Native Habitat:
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Mesic to dry, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Can become invasive but is easily controlled by division every 3-5 years. Foliage in direct sun can become scorched.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Valued primarily for its silvery foliage, secondarily for its flowers.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: No
Best propagated by cuttings or divisions. Tip cuttings are easy and reliable, taken in June. To make divisions, lift the clump in late fall or early spring and use pruning shears to divide the shallow root system. Seeds are so tiny it is best to plant Seed Collection:
Collect seed after the first few frosts. To check for ripe seed, bend over the stem
and shake it; if black seeds fall out, collect right away. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers. Seed Treatment:
No pretreatment necessary. Commercially Avail:
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
- Hinton, WVToadshade Wildflower Farm
- Frenchtown, NJ
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Mt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-11
Research By: TWC Staff