Pycnanthemum tenuifolium 'Cat Springs'

Narrow Leaf Mountain Mint

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Item #: 5666

Zones: 6a to 8b, at least

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 36" tall

Culture: Sun

Origin: United States

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

(aka: Pycnanthemum tenuifolium A3T-035) We passed many colonies of narrow-leaf mountain mint as we traversed southeastern Texas in spring 2003 looking for Space Shuttle debris...just kidding. It was only when we saw this incredible clump in flower near Cat Springs that we deposited a couple of inches of rubber on the Texas highway and sent a tailgating pickup into the ditch, all while reducing the groundhog population by one. Was it worth it? Yes! This marvelous deer-resistant form of the clumping Pycnanthemum tenuifolium makes a 3' tall clump of narrow green foliage with the strong fragrance of spicy peppermint. In mid-June, the clumps are topped with large, pure white flower clusters...a dramatic improvement over the typically offered forms. Plant one near your vegetable garden to attract hoards of beneficial insects.


Cut last year's stems to the ground before new growth starts in spring, or whenever they get shabby or you tire of their presence. Generally the seed heads remain attractive all winter like a great multitude of tiny Sedum 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy) heads. This is all it requires in the way of maintenance.

Of the 20 species of Pycnanthemum, some are clump forming, others are spreading. The clump forming species are suitable even to a small sunny garden. The spreading Mountain Mints are perhaps better suited to larger gardens where larger masses of ground covering plants are desired.

Growing Conditions:

Sun to part sun is best both for flowering and the pollinators which flock to the flowers. Well drained soil is essential for Pycnanthemum 'Eagle Rock'. Other pycnanthemum prefer average soil conditions.

Garden Value:

The Mountain Mints (Pycnanthemum) are superb supporters of a wide range of pollinating insects, especially so for many species are in bloom for several months. Beyond the importance of supporting pollinators there is the shear joy and entertainment of watching a wide range of insects working these flowers; a veritable Serengeti Plains in a few square feet of ones garden. And the Mountain Mints are attractive in bloom as well in their winter forms. They are usually avoided by deer and rabbits.

Natural Impact:

Pycnanthemum aught to be included in any sunny garden where one hopes to support pollinating insects.