Flowers: tiny; growing in round clusters in the axils of the leaves. Calyx: five-toothed. Corolla: tubular; four-lobed; the upper lobe being larger and cleft at the top. Stamens: four; exserted. Pistil: one; style, two-iobed. Leaves: opposite; ovate-lanceolate, pointed at both ends; veined; serrated; rough underneath. Stem: four-angled; nearly erect.
The usefulness of a magnifying glass is well illustrated by the wild mint; as its two styles and the tiny notch of one of its corolla-lobes are hardly perceptible to the naked eye. M. Canadensis is the only species of the mint family that is a native of the Eastern United States. It has in common with its numerous relatives little glands in the leaves in which is hidden a volatile oil and wherein lies the strong flavour and fragrance of the plants. It is one of their most attractive features and a ready means of identification.
The name Mentha is of mythological origin. According to the story, a too attractive nymph, Mintha, the daughter of Cocytus, was transformed by Proserpine, the wife of Pluto, into these plants that now bear her name.