CPC Plant Profile: Scrub Mint
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Plant Profile

Scrub Mint (Dicerandra frutescens)

The scrub mint produces purple-speckled white, tubular flowers. Photo Credit: © Billy B. Boothe
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • State: FL
  • Nature Serve ID: 134665
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Dicerandra frutescens is very similar in appearance to D. chrismanii, but D. frutescens, or scrub mint as it is often called, has a minty aroma rather than a menthol smell. The scrub mint, a short-lived perennial, grows from a deep, stout, spreading-branching taproot to a height of 50 cm. Its branches are spreading, and sometimes prostrate. Its shoots produce stems that are either leafy and overwintering or which are flowering and die back after fruiting. (USFWS 1999). The leaves of the scrub mint vary in shape and are borne opposite one another on the stem with usually two smaller leaves at each node. The tubular flowers are borne in pairs with upper and lower lips. The pale pink with purplish-rose dots petals are 1.5 to 1.6 cm long. The plant usually flowers in September, producing fruits in four small nutlets. Reproduction is by seed (USFWS 1987).

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 09/08/2020
  • Genetic Research

Archbold Biological Station is doing research on the scrub mint's breeding system, pollinators, demographic pattern, and genetic variability, as well as monitoring efforts. (Deyrup & Menges 1997)

  • 09/08/2020
  • Demographic Research

Archbold Biological Station is doing research on the scrub mint's breeding system, pollinators, demographic pattern, and genetic variability, as well as monitoring efforts. (Deyrup & Menges 1997)

  • 09/08/2020
  • Reproductive Research

Archbold Biological Station is doing research on the scrub mint's breeding system, pollinators, demographic pattern, and genetic variability, as well as monitoring efforts. (Deyrup & Menges 1997)

  • 09/08/2020
  • Living Collection

Under cultivation at Bok Tower Gardens.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

A very narrow Florida endemic. The Florida Natural Areas Inventory contains 12 occurrence records in its database. The species is threatened by rapid residential, commercial, and agricultural development on and around the Central Ridge.

S.K. Maddox
  • 01/01/2010

Modification and loss of habitat. Suppression of fire. Occasional removal for scientific purposes. Grows in readily accessible areas, suffers from trampling. Restricted range. (USFWS 1991)

S.K. Maddox
  • 01/01/2010

Scrub mint is presently known from 4 localities in Highlands County. Within these localities it is found at 9 sites. Only is 1 protected and managed (at Archbold Biological Station). Archbold Biological Station estimates the total population of Dicerandra frutescens is approximately 12,000 individuals (USFWS 1999).

S.K. Maddox
  • 01/01/2010

Under cultivation at Bok Tower Gardens. Archbold Biological Station is doing research on the scrub mint's breeding system, pollinators, demographic pattern, and genetic variability, as well as monitoring efforts. (Deyrup & Menges 1997)

S.K. Maddox
  • 01/01/2010

Most populations are on privately owned lands. Under management plan at Archbold Biological Station. (USFWS 1999).

S.K. Maddox
  • 01/01/2010

Surveys on protected lands and in Highlands County. Acquire or otherwise protect privately owned habitat. Protect populations on public lands. Continue ex situ conservation efforts. Enforce protective measures. Augment natural populations of D. frutescens. Continue research on life history characteristics of scrub mint. Monitor existing and reintroduced populations. Provide public information about the scrub mint. (USFWS 1999)

S.K. Maddox
  • 01/01/2010

Conserve germ plasm; seeds are not presently in long-term storage. Maintain ex situ collection. (USFWS 1999).

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Dicerandra frutescens
Authority Shinners
Family Lamiaceae
CPC Number 1403
ITIS 196110
USDA DIFR
Common Names scrub balm | scrub mint
Associated Scientific Names Dicerandra frutescens | Dicerandra frutescens subsp. frutescens
Distribution There is only a very small known range of the scrub mint. It occurs on the southern portion of Lake Wales Ridge in Highlands County, and is found from just north of Lake June in Winster, south to the
State Rank
State State Rank
Florida S1
Habitat

Dicerandra frutescens occurs in well-drained sand pine scrub communities on the Lake Wales Ridge of central Florida. These sands are yellow fine sand soils (USFWS 1987). In these soil types, scrub mint occurs adjacent to or within disturbed areas in sand pine scrub, oak scrub, and sandhill habitats. It occupies sites with shallow litter layers that have an incomplete, or non-existent, tree and shrub canopy (USFWS 1999).

Ecological Relationships

Dicerandra frutescens is another of the gap-utilizing species; it inhabits open areas in the vegetation, not tolerating the shade from other plants. Scrub mint is not eaten by animals, as it contains essential oils that protect it. Cut leaves have been shown to repel ants, and the extracted aromatic chemicals have been shown to repel both ants and cockroaches. The only insect known to feed on scrub mint is the caterpillars of Pyralid months (USFWS 1999).

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees
Honey bees Apis mellifera Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Augochlorella Nectar Robber and Pollen Robber Link
Bumble bees Bombus Nectar Robber and Pollinator Link
Masked bees Caupolicana electa Nectar Robber Link
Sweat bees Dialictus Pollen Robber Link
Leaf-cutting bees Megachilidae Nectar Robber and Pollinator Link
Masked bees Caupolicana electa Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Augochlorella aurata Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Dialictus placidensis Floral Visitor Link
Leaf-cutting bees Megachile petulans Floral Visitor Link
Honey bees Apis mellifera Floral Visitor Link
Bumble bees Bombus impatiens Floral Visitor Link
Bumble bees Bombus pennsylvanicus Floral Visitor Link
Flies
Bee flies Exprosopa fasciata Confirmed Pollinator Link
Bee flies Exprosopa fasciata Confirmed Pollinator Link
Other
Formicidae Floral Visitor Link

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