Lamiaceae / Mint
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Medical Uses: Like many members of the mint family this plant has been used to treat colds, fevers, digestive disorders especially gas. (Foster & Duke) Its use as a carminative is well established. A leaf tea is usually used but a tincture would also provide the active components.(Grieve) The Cherokee used a leaf poultice for headache drank leaf tea for heart trouble, to prevent diarrhea when they ate green corn and used it as a wash for an inflamed penis. (Hamel/Chiltoskey)
Similar Species: Many other species in this genus that might be found in some part of our area, are more or less similar to this species. Very like it is Southern Mountainmint (Pycnanthemum pycnanthemoides) which differs in having flowers of a richer color and longer calyx teeth and a more limited range. (Duncan & Duncan). Whiteleaf Mountainmint (Pycnanthemum albescens) lacks the long hairs on the calyx and is found only from central Florida north to east Tennessee and west to east Texas. Stone Mountainmint (Pycnanthemum curvipes) is found only in the southern Appalachians and has leaves up to 7.6cm (3") long with fine hairs on both surfaces and a petiole about .8cm (.33") long. (Rickett) Florida Mountainmint (Pycnanthemum floridanum) has even shorter petioles, only about .6cm (.25") long and the middle leaves are smooth on both sides. It is found in east central Florida.
Most of the other species tend to have leaves more lanceolate and less ovate.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves