- n Pycnanthemum American mountain mint
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n pycnanthemum A genus of gamopetalous plants of the order Labiatæ, tribe Satureineæ, and subtribe Menthoideæ. It is characterized by its four nearly equal straight and divergent stamens, a calyx sometimes two-lipped, with five teeth and about thirteen nerves, and a somewhat two-lipped corolla, with five ovate lobes, the flowers in dense verticillasters, involucrate with crowded bracts, and commonly corymbosely panicled. The 13 species, known as mountain-mint, and sometimes as American basil (see basil), are North American, and all but one are natives of the eastern or southern United States. They are erect and rigid perennial herbs, warmly aromatic and odorous, often hoary with minute down, and with flat-topped inflorescence, frequently conspicuous by reason of large whitened floral leaves. The flowers are whitish or purple and purple-dotted. They are commonly dimorphous in having in different flowers their stamens either exserted or included. The P. lanceolatum is sometimes known as Virginian thyme or prairie-hyssop. See cut under linear.