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Taxon: Mentha spicata L.

Genus: Mentha section: Mentha
Family: Lamiaceae (alt. Labiatae) subfamily: Nepetoideae tribe: Mentheae
Nomen number: 24082
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:576. 1753
Typification: View record from Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project of the Natural History Museum of London.
Comment: probably originated from allopolyploidy
Name verified on: 20-Sep-2011 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 27-Jan-2012
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Corvallis (COR).
Accessions: 100 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • only available ) NPGS core subset accessions for the crop ‘MINT’ ) or .
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

See also subordinate taxa:

Common names:

  • spearmint   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • menthe verte   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • grüne Minze   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • Krauseminze   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • hortelã-comum   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • hortelã-preta   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • hortelã-verde   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • menta romana   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • yerbabuena   (Source: Cuban Genet Res 324.) – Spanish
  • grönmynta   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

Economic importance:

  • Food additives: flavoring   (fide Mansf Ency)
  • Gene sources: progenitor of Japanese corn mint   (as 2n=48 fide Amer J Bot 89:2018. 2002)
  • Gene sources: progenitor of Scottisch spearmint   (as 2n=36 or 48 fide Amer J Bot 89:2018. 2002)
  • Gene sources: progenitor of peppermint   (fide Gen Mentha 1:31. 2007)
  • Gene sources: secondary genetic relative of apple mint   (based on natural hybrids with Mentha suaveolens fide Biol Conserv 137:250. 2007)
  • Gene sources: secondary genetic relative of bergamot mint   (based on known hybrids with Mentha aquatica fide Amer J Bot 89:2018. 2002)
  • Gene sources: secondary genetic relative of corn mint   (based on hybrids with Mentha arvensis fide Theor Appl Genet 102:471-476. 2001)
  • Gene sources: tertiary genetic relative of peppermint   (based on "a cross between a male sterile genotype (2n=72) of M. spicata and a male fertile genotype (2n=120) of M. piperita" fide Cytologia 54:355. 1989)
  • Materials: essential oils   (fide Adv Lab Sci 400. 1992)
  • Medicines: folklore   (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)

Distributional range:

    Western Asia: Cyprus; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey [w.]
    Southeastern Europe: Albania; Bulgaria; Former Yugoslavia; Greece [incl. Crete]; Italy [s. & Sardinia, Sicily]

    Macaronesia: Portugal - Azores, Madeira Islands; Spain - Canary Islands
    Western Asia: Afghanistan; Cyprus; Iran; Turkey
    Caucasus: Georgia; Russian Federation - Ciscaucasia
    Siberia: Russian Federation - Irkutsk
    Middle Asia: Turkmenistan
    Eastern Asia: Japan
    Indian Subcontinent: Pakistan
    Australia: Australia
    New Zealand: New Zealand
    Northern Europe: Denmark; Ireland; Norway; Sweden; United Kingdom
    Middle Europe: Austria; Belgium; Czechoslovakia; Germany; Hungary; Netherlands; Poland
    East Europe: Belarus; Moldova; Ukraine [incl. Krym]
    Southeastern Europe: Albania; Bulgaria; Former Yugoslavia; Greece [incl. Crete]; Italy; Romania
    Southwestern Europe: France; Spain [incl. Baleares]
    Brazil: Brazil [s.]
    Southern South America: Argentina

    Western Asia: Cyprus; Turkey
    China: China
    Eastern Asia: Japan
    Indian Subcontinent: India; Pakistan
    Australia: Australia
    New Zealand: New Zealand
    East Europe: Russian Federation - European part
    United States
    Caribbean: West Indies


  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson. 2009. Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin).
  • Allan, H. H. B. et al. 1961–. Flora of New Zealand.
  • Bleeker, W. et al. 2007. Interspecific hybridisation between alien and native plant species in Germany and its consequences for native biodiversity. Biol. Conservation 137:248–253. [mentions hybrids between native Mentha suaveolens and introduced M. spicata].
  • Bunsawat, J. et al. 2004. Phylogenetics of Mentha (Lamiaceae): evidence from chloroplast DNA sequences. Syst. Bot. 29:959–964.
  • Castroviejo, S. et al., eds. 1989–. Flora iberica: plantas vasculares de la Peninsula Iberica e Islas Baleares.
  • Chen, X.-H. et al. 2012. Chloroplast DNA molecular characterization and leaf volatiles analysis of mint (Mentha; Lamiaceae) populations in China. Industr. Crops Prod. 37:270–274.
  • Cronquist, A. et al. 1972–. Intermountain flora.
  • Davis, P. H., ed. 1965–1988. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands.
  • De Mattia, F. et al. 2011. A comparative study of different DNA barcoding markers for the identification of some members of Lamiacaea. Food Res. Int. 44:693–702. [this study examined the use of DNA barcoding for a total of 43 samples and 16 species; Mentha included the peppermint and its parental species M. aquatica and M. spicata].
  • Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs.
  • Encke, F. et al. 1984. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage.
  • Erhardt, W. et al. 2008. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen.
  • Esquivel, M. et al. 1992. 14. Inventory of the cultivated plants. P. 324 in: Hammer, K. et al., eds., ".y tienen faxones y fabas muy diversos de los nuestros.." Origin, evolution and diversity of Cuban plant genetic resources. vols. 1992
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee. Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource).
  • Forzza, R. C. et al., coord. Lista de espécies da flora do Brasil (on-line resource).
  • Gobert, V. et al. 2002. Hybridization in the section Mentha (Lamiaceae) inferred from AFLP markers. Amer. J. Bot. 89:2017–2023.
  • Gobert, V. et al. 2006. Heterogeneity of three molecular data partition phylogenies of mints related to M. × piperita (Mentha; Lamiaceae). Pl. Biol. 8:470–485.
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. 1984–. Med-Checklist.
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. [re. Brazilian common names].
  • Hanelt, P., ed. 2001. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6.
  • Hansen, A. & P. Sunding. 1993. Flora of Macaronesia: checklist of vascular plants, ed. 4. Sommerfeltia vol. 17.
  • Hara, H. et al. 1978–1982. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal.
  • Harley, R. M. in P. H. Davis. 1980. Materials for a flora of Turkey: 37. Labiatae, Plumbaginaceae, Plantaginaceae. Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 38:38.
  • Hedberg, I. & S. Edwards. 1989–. Flora of Ethiopia. (and Eritrea. 2000)
  • Huxley, A., ed. 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening.
  • Instituto de Botánica Darwinion. 2008. Flora del Conosur. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares.
  • Iwatsuki, K. et al. 1993–. Flora of Japan.
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. 1934–1964. Flora SSSR.
  • Krasnoborov, I. M., ed. 2000–. Flora of Siberia (English translation).
  • Krasnyanski, S. et al. 1998. Somatic hybridization in mint: identification and characterization of Mentha piperita (+) M. spicata hybrid plants. Theor. Appl. Genet. 96:683–687.
  • Lawrence, B. M. 1992. Chemical components of Labiatae oils and their exploitation. P. 400 in: Harley, R. M. & T. Reynolds, eds., Advances in labiate science.
  • Lazarides, M. & B. Hince. 1993. CSIRO Handbook of Economic Plants of Australia.
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2.
  • McGregor, R. L. et al. (The Great Plains Flora Association). 1986. Flora of the Great Plains.
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2.
  • Meikle, R. D. 1977–1985. Flora of Cyprus.
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. 1970–. Flora of [West] Pakistan.
  • Patra, N. K. et al. 2001. A unique interspecific hybrid spearmint clone with growth properties of Mentha arvensis L. and oil qualities of Mentha spicata L. Theor. Appl. Genet. 102:471–476.
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  • Quézel, P. & S. Santa. 1962–1963. Nouvelle flore de l'Algerie.
  • Rechinger, K. H., ed. 1963–. Flora iranica.
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants.
  • Sell, P. & G. Murrell. 1996–. Flora of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • Tucker, A. O. & R. F. C. Naczi. 2007. Mentha: an overview of its classification and relationships. In: Lawrence, B. M., ed., Mint: the genus Mentha 1:1–39.
  • Tucker, A. O. et al. 1980. The Linnaean types of Mentha (Lamiaceae). Taxon 29:234.
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. 1964–1980. Flora europaea.
  • Tyagi, B. R. & T. Ahmad. 1989. Chromosome number variation in and F1 interspecific hybrid progeny of Mentha (Lamiaceae). Cytologia 54:355–358. [it examined hybrids from "a cross between a male sterile genotype (2n=72) of M. spicata and a male fertile genotype (2n=120) of M. piperita"].
  • University of Texas Herbarium. 2000–. The mints of Texas (on-line resource).
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994–. Flora of China (English edition).


Check other web resources for Mentha spicata L.:


  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (25 November 2015)

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