art.ht1sm.jpg (10259 bytes)Mint, American or Wild (Mentha arvensis)
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Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- Mint, American or Wild (Mentha arvensis) -
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wfshl-mint-am1.jpg (74860 bytes)(American Wild Mint - 01) The American mint grows in clusters or clumps from an underground stem in moist places.  This mint plant was photographed along our shore line where it grows up through the blue shale rip-rap.   The flowers of the American mint form in clusters in axils of leaves, as can be seen in the central plant and in bud clusters in the lower left of the photo.  (The larger buds in the upper right of the photo are from another wildflower and not mint.)  

 

 

 

wfshl-mint-am2.jpg (39612 bytes)(American Wild Mint - 02) This is a close up view of a few of the American mint's four-petaled flowers in one of the clusters.  The flower color of the American mint is either a pale lavender or a light purple.  The wild American mint leaves can be used as a flavoring or seasoning, as can its relatives, rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram.  When the mint leaves are dried, they make a wonderfully flavored tea, and young fresh sprigs (before flowering) add flavor and make a great garnish for ice tea.

 

wfshl-mint-am3.jpg (70860 bytes)(American Wild Mint - 03) In this photo of the American mint, we can see the details of the tiny buds as they begin to open in a cluster at a leaf axil (junction of the leaf to the vertical stem).  The continuation of the stem can be seen behind the uppermost bud (top-right), and a portion of the "hairy" leaf details can be seen in the lower left of this photo.

 

 

 

 

wfshl-mint-am4.jpg (35928 bytes)(American Wild Mint - 04) In this photo we can see three American mint sprigs with their bud and flower clusters as they fade into the background of the picture.  Macro photography does not lend itself to keeping both the foreground and background in focus; however, the advantage is that it does add an ethereal quality to our detailed look into God's creation.

 

(American Wild Mint - 05)  In this photo we are looking sideways at a whorl of wild American mint flowers.  The whole cluster of flowers is only 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide (top to bottom in photo).  The divided tops of the pistils can be seen extending beyond the stamens to help insure cross pollination from a visiting bee.

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 05a)  In this photo we have a closer look at a whorl of wild American mint flowers.  We can also see the tiny "hairs" growing on the inside and outside of the petals.

 

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 06)  The top of this wild American mint has broken off allowing us a more complete view of the 3/4 inch diameter whorl of flowers.  Each tiny, 1/4 inch long, wild mint flower has four petals, 4 stamens, and 1 pistil, but because the pistils and stamens are often damaged by bee activity, it is difficult to get a good photo of a complete flower (note the broken stamen on the lower leaf).

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 06a)  In this bee's eye view of some of the wild American mint flowers, we can see the four stamens, and the inner hairs.  Most of the pistils seem to have been broken off; one of which can be seen resting on a petal of the flower to the central left of the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 06b)  In this close up edge view of a wild American mint leaf, we can see the hairs and the first tooth.  The stem end of the leaves are not toothed.

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 07)  This is another look at a small cluster of wild American mint that are growing up through the stony edge of the lake.  The favorite habitat for wild American mint is along the edge of bodies of waters and in moist open areas, where they can get some sunshine.

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 07a)  In this photo we have a closer look at a whole wild American mint leaf.  Note that the hairs grow on the entire surface of the leaf, with a higher concentration along the edges and central vein.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 07b)  This is a closer look at the hairy surface of a wild American mint leaf.

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 08)  This photo gives us another good example of an American mint life.  We also like the surreal way in which the flowers fade into the background of the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 09)  Even the top cluster of wild American mint flowers still grow in a whirl to allow for future growth.  These herbs grow to heights of between 6 and 24 inches.  The flower color is usually light purple, but occasionally they will also be white or light pink.

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 10)  In this photo we are looking down the stem of a wild American mint with its whorls of flowers growing from the leaf axils.  The upper flower cluster is still in its bud stage.

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 10a)  In this close up view of the whorl wild American mint flower buds.  In this photo we can see the four sepals surrounding each flower bud, the hairs growing on the main stem, and the fact that the new leaves (bottom of photo) have fewer hairs than the mature leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 11)  This is another look at a cluster of wild American mint flowers.

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 11a)  This is another bee's eye view of a cluster of wild American mint flowers, which bloom from July to September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 12)  In this bee's eye view of the stamens and pistils of the wild American mint, we have a good view of the anther on top of the filament of the stamen, and the divided stigma on top of the style of the pistil.

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 13)  In this photo of a wild American mint plant, we can see the various stages of flower development from the fully opened flower clusters at the bottom to the newly developing  flower clusters at the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 13a)  This is closer look at the developing flower clusters of the wild American mint.

 

 

 

 

 

(American Wild Mint - 14)  It seems that almost anywhere we look in God's creation we find His treasures. The beauty of these wild American mint flowers, and the wonderful taste and smell of the mint leaves, are just a couple of these examples.

 

 

 

| Wild Flowers of SHL: Photo Identification, Common Name, Scientific Name | Art and Photos |

Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation.  Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion.  It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.

If  you would like to contribute a photo to these series, please contact;
Frank L. Hoffman flh@all-creatures.org

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