Botanical Name: Pycnanthemum incanum
Species: P. incanum
*Clinopodium incanum L.
*Koellia incana (L.) Kuntze.
*Origanum punctatum Poir.
*Pycnanthemum incanum var. loomisii Fernald
*Pycnanthemum puberulum E.Grant & Epling
Common names: Hoary mountainmint, “mountain mint”, Wild basil or Hoary basil
Pycnanthemum incanum is native to Eastern United States and into Ontario, Canada. It prefers to grow on rocky, gravelly or sandy soil, and typically grows in woods, thickets, fields, and hills.
Pycnanthemum incanum is an erect, many-branched perennial plant. It grows to 2 to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.2 m) high by 4 feet (1.2 m) wide. The stems are covered with a soft, whitish down. A vigorous and often aggressive grower, this plant spreads by long rhizomes. The plant is called Hoary mountain-mint because of the hoary/white appearance of the upper leaves and bracts beneath its flower clusters. White blooms appear from July to September.
The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. Pycnanthemum means “dense flower-clusters” in Greek, and the flowers are favored by butterflies, moths, honeybees, and some species of wasps.
Cultivation: Succeeds in most soils but prefers a rich loamy soil in full sun or partial shade with plenty of moisture in the growing season.
Edible Uses: The fresh or dried leaves are brewed into an aromatic mint-like tea.
This species contains tannin and is considered to be an astringent.The Choctaw put the mashed leaves in warm water, which the patient drank, and which was poured over the head to relieve headaches. For patients who were sickly all the time, the leaves were mashed in water, the doctor took a mouthful of water, and blew it onto the patient, three times on the head, three times on the back, and three times on the chest. Before the next sunrise, the patient was bathed in the medicine.
The Koasati mashed the leaves in water, and used the water to treat laziness. The patient bathed his face in the cold water and drank it. For nosebleeds, the plant was wetted, and put up into the nostrils to stop the bleed. The roots were boiled along with Black Willow, and drunk to relieve headache.
Pycnanthemum incanum is listed on many “Top Ten Plants for Pollinators” list. Pycnanthemum incanum is a good choice for a Wildlife Garden or Meadow. Plants are also used as Butterfly Nectar Plants, Cut Flowers or as part of a Grouping or Mass Planting. This species has Showy Blooms and is appropriate for Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings and Perennial Borders.
It is considered to be a food source for large mammals, as well.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.