Mountain mint in native garden design

Are you looking for a Deer Resistant Pollinator Perennial?  Look no further. Short Toothed Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum muticum, is an all-star plant.  Alvin and I took a quick video on a walk by our year old native test garden.  From plugs planted one year ago we now have 2′ by 2′ shrubby pollinator magnets, with absolutely no sign of deer or rabbit browsing.  The Mountain mint has established quicker than any of the other plugs, even in our dry soil.  Its preference would be moist but well drained sites in full sun.  It is a relative of the mint family, so its deer resistance comes with a shallow rhizome spreading habit.

The dense head-like flower cymes make this plant a pollinator paradise.  Native bees, beneficial wasps, flies, beetles, skippers and small butterflies (especially hairstreaks) frequent the blossoms.  In the 2013 Penn State Extension Service Pollinator Trial “88 pollinator-rewarding herbaceous perennial plants were assessed and promoted to growers, landscapers, nursery operators, and homeowners…”  Pycnanthemum muticum was rated #1 for longevity of flowers and #1 for diversity of pollinators.  It also attracted the greatest number of insects of any plant.  During a 2 minute time period, 78 insects visited Pycnanthemum muticum including 19 bees and syrphid flies.

Laura and I are trialing dozens of native plants in various environments around Albany’s Capital District.  Our native garden designs can be incorporated into any landscape, large or small.