Mint, Corn

Information on Corn Mint

Common Name: Corn Mint
Scientific Name: Mentha arvensis
Irish Name: Mismín arbhair
Family Group: Lamiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Corn Mint is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

Lilac flowers in whorls make this wildflower quite similar at a first glance to Water Mint but it is the ground which it grows on which helps to confirm the identification.  Generally found on arable ground, paths and open woodland, Corn Mint doesn't grow quite as tall as Water Mint and it has no terminal head of flowers.  The little two-lipped lilac-coloured flowers (3-4mm long) have protruding stamens and are borne in dense whorls which are at intervals along the stems and emerge from axils of the leaves which themselves are longer than the flowers. They bloom in August and September. These oval, toothed, pale green leaves are stalked, hairy and opposite. Mentha arvensis is known to hybridise with Mentha aquatica, is a native plant and it belongs to the family Lamiaceae. 

My first record of this plant is in 2007 at Gibletstown, Co Wexford when I also photographed it.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

There is a legend that Menthe was a nymph who was loved by Pluto, Lord of the Underworld.  Understandably enough, Pluto's wife, Prosperine, became jealous of Menthe so she turned her into a herb to spend her days being downtrodden.  When Pluto discovered what had happened, he tried to undo the spell but was unsuccessful so he gave Menthe a beautiful aroma so that she would never be forgotten.  The oil of the Mint family has been used in the manufacture of so many items of everyday use such as chewing gum, toothpaste, mint tea, flavouring for chocolate, ice-cream and in indigestion remedies.   

Mint, Corn
Mint, Corn
Mint, Corn