American Mint
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American Mint
aturalized Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: American Mint, Bush mint, Chan, Horehound, Pignut, stinking Roger, Wild spikenard • Hindi: विलायती तुलसी vilaiti tulsi • Manipuri: ꯇꯨꯀꯨꯃꯥ Tukuma, ꯑꯦꯔꯤꯛ ꯂꯩ Erik lei • Marathi: भुस्त्रैण bhustrena, दर्प तुळस darp tulas, जंगली तुळस jungli tulas • Telugu: శీర్ణ తులసి sirna tulasi • Bengali: বিলাতি তুলস bilati tulas • Oriya: Ganga tulasi • Sanskrit: भुस्त्रैण bhustrena • Nepali: बन बाबरी Ban Baawaree, ठुलो मिर्रे Thulo Mirre • Kannada: ಗಂಗತುಳಸಿ Ganga tulasi, ವಿಲಾಯತಿತುಳಸಿ Vilaayati tulasi
Botanical name: Mesosphaerum suaveolens    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Hyptis suaveolens, Ballota suaveolens

American Mint is a rigid annual herb of aggressive nature. It starts its vegetative phase either from perrenating rootstock or seeds, with the onset of monsoon rains. It can attain height of approximately 2.5 m within a growing season. Its stem is quadrate and bears hair. Leaves are either ovate or obovate. Leaves are generally 3-5 cm long and 2-4 cm wide with serrulate margins and a long stalk. Lower surface of the leaves bears hairs; petioles up to 3 cm long. Flowering starts at an early age of 2-3 months. It produces copious blue flowers in small cymes along branch that ends with reduced leaves. Sepal tube is hairy in nature and is nearly 0.5 cm long in flower while it enlarges to 1 cm long in fruit and become ribbed. Flowers are blue, 2-lipped, about 8 mm long, with a limb 5 mm in diameter. The flower has 4 stamens. American Mint flowers are pollinated by a large number of pollinators leading to enormous seed production. American mint is native to the American continent, but now naturalized almost throughout the world. Flowering: October-February.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke, Shaista Ahmad Photographed at Kharghar Hills, Navi Mumbai & Goa.

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