Tropical Bushmint - Common Bittermint
Hyptis mutabilis
Lamiaceae (Mint) Family

Plant is an upright, sparsely branched, herbaceous perennial with square stems and musky odor. The dried leaves and stems are reminiscent of basil.. Its preferred habitat is disturbed upland areas, moist sites, ditches, roadsides and the margin of meadows and fields. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are opposite on the stem, squared at the base, or sometimes nearly rhombic (diamond-shaped having an outline with equal sides), but are generally ovoid to deltoid in shape, toothed with long stems.

The flowers are small with an irregular calyx, bluish-purple in color and may be spotted with purple (usually not). The corolla is one-lipped, four stamens that extend beyond the corolla, and a single pistil, five lobed. The flowers are presented in small bundles at intervals and arranged in a spike on the upper stem, arising from the leaf axil, stalked and subtended by long greenish bracts.

Fruit is an oblong nutlet

The plant may be considered a pest in many areas, but is nevertheless important to the butterfly garden, as well as to the beekeeper.

Previous Page         Return to Index        Next Page