Pycnanthemum virginianum

Mountain Mint

$3.00 - $300.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
1 oz.
1 lb.

Bare Root Plants
Out of Stock

3 Pack
Out of Stock
Tray of 50

NEW IN POTTED TRAYS! Mountain Mint attracts many insects to its flowers, including various bees, wasps, flies, small butterflies, and beetles. The leaves are very fragrant; when crushed they have a strong minty odor. The flowers will be white to shades of light purple, some with purple spots.  Pycnanthemum means "densely flowered," an attribute that enables Mountain Mint to accommodate many pollinators at once.  The long bloom time, a month or more in July and August, is another reason Mountain Mint is a great choice for those interested in feeding pollinators.  The light green foliage of all Mountain Mint species is visually pleasing, too, making it a nice garden choice even when not flowering.

For a shorter species, in medium soils, try Slender Mountain Mint.  Other common names are Mountain Thyme, Pennyroyal, and Prairie Hyssop.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
April/May October 1 year
Potted 3-Packs May/June September 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep pots

Pycnanthemum virginianum - Mountain Mint

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

7 Questions asked on Pycnanthemum virginianum

Is the Mountain Mint very fragrant ? Is it edible? Thanks
Yes! The foliage smells strongly of mint when crushed. It is edible. People add the leaves to salads or use it to make tea.
I planted mountain mint last summer and I am rather surprised as to how tall it is. I would like to move it farther back in my flower bed, will it transplant well at this time or should I leave it until next spring. Thanks.
Early Spring and Fall are the best times to move a plant - when they are dormant, but this plant is pretty hardy and does spread by rhizomes so if if you are not concerned about possibly losing a few plants, it should be fine to move them in the summer.
I know many mints spread aggressively by rhizomes- is that true for mountain mint?
Hi Anne, Mountain Mint has a fibrous root system rather than a rhizomatous root system. Even though it’s not rhizomatous, we still advise caution when planting this species because it spreads readily by seed. We’d consider this plant as potentially aggressive, so it may not be suitable for smaller landscapes.
Will mountain mint tolerate being planted under black walnut trees? If not, can you suggest a similar alternative that can tolerate the black walnut trees?
Hi Mark, It's hard to say. It may struggle if juglone levels are too high. There are a lot of great alternatives! Searching "Walnut" on our website gives you this extensive list of juglone-tolerant plants. You can use the filter function to further refine your search.
How much shade will Mountain Mint tolerate? Thanks!
Hi Nancy. Mountain Mint is well suited to full and part sun; it flowers best with at least 6 hours of sunlight. This plant may be a littler shorter or produce fewer flowers, but will still be a strong plant with 4 hours of sun.
What are the (visible) differences between Pycnanthemum virginiaum and Pycnanthemum tenufolium (other than height)?
Hi Jennifer. These two Mint species are incredibly similar! Mountain Mint (P. virginianum) does grow a bit taller than Slender Mountain Mint (P. tenuifolium), but the Slender Mountain Mint is named for its consistently narrow foliage. The leaves on Mountain Mint are also rather fine, but not nearly as needle-like; its leaves show more variance, growing longer and wider on the lower part of the plant.
How can I tell the difference between Mountain Mint and Northern Bedstraw?
Hi Bonny. At first glance, and especially in pictures, these two species are surprisingly similar! A primary difference is fragrance. Mountain Mint has a distinct minty aroma, particularly in the foliage after it has been disturbed or crushed - the flowers smell surprisingly bland by comparison! Northern Bedstraw is also aromatic, but with a subtle sweet-tart floral smell, mostly whiffed while in bloom; its foliage is barely fragrant followed by a slight dusty note. Northern Bedstraw can also be identified by the 4 leaves that whorl around the stem the 4 petals to each flower. Mountain Mint flowers in clusters, has alternating leaves, and the foliage often has a gray-green sheen.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

US Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Wet, Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry
3 feet
Bloom Time
June, July, August, September
Bloom Color
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
Deer Resistant
Recommended for home landscaping but potentially aggressive; could overwhelm small landscapes
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code