Mentha longifolia (L.) L.

Locations ofMentha longifolia (L.) L. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Mentha longifolia (L.) L.
Common Name
Long-leaved mint
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Mentha longifolia (L.) L.
Past Virginia floristic studies did not recognize Mentha longifolia as distinct from M. spicata. However, recent taxonomic and phylogenetic studies have shown that M. longifolia (a diploid) is one of the parents of M. spicata and possibly other polyploids (Tucker and Naczi 2007*). Mentha longifolia is extremely variable and a large number of subspecies have been described worldwide (Tucker and Naczi list 22). According to Tucker and Naczi (2007*), "Mentha longifolia has been included in the floras of Great Britain and North America, but almost all specimens from these areas are actually pubescent M. spicata with 2n=48 or M. x villosonervata with 2n=36." Given that only a few Virginia specimens have been identified as M. longifolia s.l., it seems best to treat this only at the species level until we determine if the species actually occurs here. This will also require examination of all "Mentha spicata" specimens at multiple herbaria, which is no small task.

* Tucker, A.O., and R.F.C. Naczi. 2007. Mentha: an overview of its classification and relationships. Pp. 1-39 in B.M. Lawrence, ed., Mint: the genus Mentha. Medicinal and aromatic plants – industrial profiles vol. 44. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Wet or damp ground of open stream or pond margins.
Native Status

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