Stems: erect, simple or branched. Leaves: oblong, acute, sharply serrate. Flowers: all in short and dense, sessile, axillary glomerules; calyx oblong-campanulate, pubescent, five-toothed; corolla irregularly four-cleft.
The traveller has only to pick a spray of this plant to know its name, Mint, from Minthe, a lovely nymph whom the jealous Proserpine changed into a flower so that she might not win the admiration of Pluto, her lord and master. At least the memory of the ill-fated beauty is kept forever green and fragrant, for the leaves of the Mint contain numerous tiny glands in which is secreted a volatile oil that has an excessively strong odour and flavour.
The flowers, which are either pinkish-purple or purplish-pink, and very occasionally white, grow in dense little clusters in the axils of the leaves.
Mentha canadensis var. lanata, or Hairy Mint, closely resembles the preceding species, but has densely tomentose or lanate stems and under surfaces of leaves.