Pycnanthemum flexuosum has very fragrant, oval, toothed opposite leaves on square stems that are covered with fine white hairs. The leaves may take on a reddish or purple tint in cooler weather. Also known as Appalachian Mountain Mint, this upright plant produces dense clusters of fuzzy white to pale lavender blooms in late summer to early fall. It is a pollinator paradise and visitors include bumblebees, honeybees, solitary wasps, tachinid flies, syrphid flies, beetles and butterflies. The strongly aromatic, minty foliage is not bothered by deer or rabbits.
Pycnanthemum flexuosum has a rhizomatous habit, making it great for erosion control, but plant in a buried container if you wish to limit the spread. Its spread is, however, slower than some of the other Mountain Mints.
Pycnanthemum flexuosum is a native perennial that has a limited range from Virginia to Mississippi. It is naturally found on wet sites, such as swamps, bogs, bottomland forests and pine barrens.
It is prettiest planted in full sun and moist to wet soil, but it will tolerate drier soil and drought as well as partial shade. Pair it with other natives such Bee Balm, Gay Feather, Switch Grass, Little Bluestem, Goldenrod or Black-Eyed Susan.