by Stephen Mifsud
   31 May 2020      ()
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Mentha spicata   (Spear Mint)

Mentha spicata   (LAMIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Nomenclature and Basic Information Images
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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Mentha spicata retrieved from on 2020-May-31

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Mentha spicata L.
Published in L., Sp. Pl. 576 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Mentha viridis
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Lamiaceae Lindl. (=Labiatae) (The Mint Family)
36 species from the Lamiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Spear Mint

Maltese name(s) :

Nagħniegħ, Nagħniegħ tal-ikel

Status for Malta :

Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 and spreads to form established, non-invasive populations. It may become become invasive

Frequency :

Data not available - casual in the wild as a garden/field escape

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE (bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc.)
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:

Pink or White

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Botanical Description:

Perennial 30-100 cm, with strong, sweet scent, less frequently with pungent scent (as in 10) or musty. Leaves (30-)50-90 x (7-)15-30 mm, lanceolate or lanceolate-ovate, smooth or rugose (rarely 40-60 x 25-40 mm, ovate or ovate-oblong, strongly rugose), widest near the base, serrate with regular teeth (rarely the whole leaf strongly crispate), glabrous to densely hairy, the hairs on the lower surface both simple and branched, the basal cell 30-47 µm in diameter. Inflorescence variable. Calyx 1-3 mm, campanulate, glabrous or hairy; teeth subequal. Corolla lilac, pink or white. Fertile anthers 0.38-0.52 mm. Nutlets 0.74-0.94 mm, reticulate in hairy plants, smooth in glabrous plants.

Chromosome number:


Distributional range:

Widely cultivated as a pot-herb and for its aromatic oils, and naturalized throughout a large part of Europe.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Introduced in Albania, Austria and Liechtenstein, the Azores, Belgium, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Bulgaria, Crete, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, Denmark, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Germany, Greece, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sweden, Turkey (European part)

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

AE(G) Al Au Be Br Bu Cr Cy Cz Da Eg Ga Ge Gr Hb He Ho Hu IJ It Ju LS No Po Rf(CS) Rm Sa Si Sn Su Tcs Tu(A E) Uk(U) [Az Bl Ca Co Eg Hs Ma Md Rf(NW) Uk(K)]

Images (10 images)
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-0.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-1.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-2.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-3.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-4.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-5.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-6.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-7.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-8.
   Mentha spicata   -   Image Code: MNTSP-9.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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