Genus of the Week
Week of Mar. 30-Apr. 5
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.
This week's genus:
(photo copyright 2001 by J. Forman)
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae): The Mints
Number of Species: approximately 20
Root: Greek, from puknos (thick) and a++nqoj(?)(flower), a reference to the dense clusters of flowers this genus produces.
The genus Pycnanthemum has characteristics typical of the Mint family: aromatic leaves, clusters of small yet beautiful white/pink/lavender flowers, and extensive vegetative propagation.
Species of this genus are known to hybridize, and many are polyploids. There is still discussion as to whether some recognized species are actually hybrids or varieties.
Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Pycnanthemum species:
- Please visit my own web page about Pycnanthemum. It
has information about my research topic, P. clinopodioides (Basil Mountain Mint), as well as links to other sites about this genus.
- The National Atlas Information Service (NAIS) of Canada has a page about P. incanum (Hoary Mountain Mint), considered
an endangered species in Canada since 1986.
- The National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR), located in Corvallis, Oregon, keeps the germplasm of several Pycnanthemum species.
This germplasm is available to interested researchers.
- The Bio 211 course at Colby College has a list from the USDA of the occurence of Pycnanthemum species native to or naturalized in New England.
You'll have to scroll down to the P's.
- The Biota of North America Program (BONAP) has a detailed list of the species and varietites in this genus.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
- Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.
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