Someone (possibly one of the fine folks on the Wildlife Gardeners forum) recommended the mountain mints as tough, pollinator-friendly plants, so when I found some at a plant sale, I nabbed one. (Note to Ohio gardeners: Natives in Harmony offers healthy plants at good prices.) The plant is in its first summer and so has not come into its full glory, but hoary mountain mint (Pycnanthemum incanum) seems to be another winner.
First, I love the coolness of its white leaves on the hottest summer days.
A blogger on The Natural Web describes says the upper leaves look "as if they had been lightly but evenly dusted with powdered sugar," a description that is not far off.
Second, like all mints, this one is deer-resistant, a plus even though deer have not yet found their way to our neighborhood.
Third, the plant is drought-resistant, a plus for those of us looking for garden plants that can fend for themselves. (I have read that it can become invasive, but given that in my yard it has to share space with rudbeckia hirta and hardy ageratum, two favorite thugs, I am not worried about it taking over.)
Fourth, mountain mints are reputed to be pollinator magnets. Each of the plant's many heads is actually an infloresence of dozens of tiny flowers, each containing nectar.
For all that this is our lone specimen's first summer, it seems to be doing its job.