hairy wood mint

(Blephilia hirsuta var. hirsuta)

Conservation Status
hairy wood mint
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Hairy wood mint is native in the United States from Connecticut to Minnesota, south to Florida, northern Alabama, and Kansas, and in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. In Minnesota it is common in the driftless area in the southeast, where it is at the western extent of its native range; uncommon in the Metro area, where it is introduced; and absent in the remainder of the state. The sole record in Cook County is historical. Hairy wood mint is found in moist bottomland forests, moderately moist upland forests, at the bases of bluffs, on the banks of streams and rivers, and along railroads and roadsides. It grows under partial sun to light shade in loamy, moist to moderately moist soil.

Hairy wood mint is a 16 to 47 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on one or more aerial stems from a slender, underground, horizontal stem (rhizome) and fibrous roots.

The stems are sharply four-angled and unbranched or sparingly branched. Sometimes they develop a few ascending branches late in the growing season. They are moderately to densely covered with fine, white, long and short hairs. The long hairs are mostly spreading, 132 to 116 (1 to 2 mm) long, and denser toward the tip of the stem. The short hairs are downward curved, 164 to 132 (0.5 to 1.0 mm) long, and denser toward the base of the stem.

The leaves are opposite and narrowly to broadly egg-shaped. The main leaves are 1916 to 3 (4 to 8 cm) long and up to 1½ wide. They are on hairy, to 1316 (1 to 3 cm) long leaf stalks (petioles). They are usually broadly angled to rounded, sometimes shallowly heart-shaped at the base, and are angled or tapered to a sharp point at the tip. The upper surface may be hairless or sparsely covered with short fine hairs, rarely also with scattered longer hairs. The lower surface is sparsely to moderately covered with short fine hairs, sometimes also with longer hairs along the veins. The margins are finely toothed. There is often a pair of much smaller leaves rising from the point where the petiole attaches to the stem (axil).

The inflorescence is a spike of 1 to 5 densely crowded, noticeably separated, head-like clusters of small flowers at the end of the stem and branches, and single similar clusters in the upper leaf axils. Each cluster in the terminal spike is subtended by a pair of sometimes inconspicuous modified leaves (bracts). Each flower is subtended by a pair of ¼ to (6 to 10 mm) long, lance-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped bractlets.

The flowers are 516 to ½ (8 to 12 mm) long. There are 5 outer floral leaves (sepals), 5 petals, 2 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are green and to ¼ (4 to 7 mm) long. They are fused at the base into a short tube then separated into 5 narrowly triangular to nearly linear lobes. The upper lobes are longer than the lower lobes. The bractlets and sepals have long spreading hairs on the margins. The petals are white and may be slightly tinged with blue. They are united at the base into a floral tube then separated into 2 lips. The outer surface is moderately to densely hairy. The upper lip is spreading or slightly curved backwards and has 2 shallow lobes. The lower lip is straight or slightly spreading, has 3 lobes, and has numerous small purple spots. The stamens protrude from the corolla at maturity. The style has 2 lobes at the tip and also protrudes from the corolla at maturity.

The fruit (schizocarp) develops from the dried ovary and splits into 4 egg-shaped, tan to reddish-brown nutlets.




16 to 47


Flower Color




Similar Species


Moist to moderately moist. Bottomland and upland forests, bluff bases, stream banks, railroads, roadsides. Partial sun to light shade. Loamy soil.




May to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Lamiales (mints, plantains, olives, and allies)  


Lamiaceae (mint)  
  Subfamily Nepetoideae  
  Tribe Mentheae  


Menthinae (balms, mints, and thymes)  
  Genus Blephilia (wood mints)  
  Species Blephilia hirsuta (hairy wood mint)  

There are two varieties of Blephilia hirsuta. B. h. var. hirsuta has hairy stems and leaves, B. h. var. glabra has hairless (glabrous) stems and leaves. B. h. var. glabra is restricted to Vermont. It was last collected in 1898, and it is now presumed to be extinct. Currently, mosty sources do not list any varieties.




Common Names


hairy pagoda-plant

hairy wood mint

hairy woodmint













The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.



Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



A small, often secondary bract within an inflorescence; a bract that is borne on a petiole instead of subtending it; bracteole.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



On plants: The stalk of a leaf blade or a compound leaf that attaches it to the stem. On ants and wasps: The constricted first one or two segments of the rear part of the body.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



A dry fruit formed from a compound ovary that splits into two or more parts (mericarps) at maturity.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

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First time seeing this plant. A couple of these plants popped up in an area this summer. Fairly sunny and dry (everything was dry this summer).

    hairy wood mint   hairy wood mint  


    hairy wood mint   hairy wood mint  
    hairy wood mint      


    hairy wood mint   hairy wood mint  


    hairy wood mint   hairy wood mint  
    hairy wood mint      






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Other Videos
  Hairy Wood Mint: Edible & Medicinal
The Cargo Cult Café

Mar 14, 2016

***Attention*** Plight to Freedom is now The Cargo Cult Café. Same type of content with added weirdness.

Hairy Wood Mint, Blephilia hirsuta

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Location: Lake Shore

First time seeing this plant. A couple of these plants popped up in an area this summer. Fairly sunny and dry (everything was dry this summer).

hairy wood mint  




Created: 2/21/2020

Last Updated:

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