Mentha × gentilis
Mentha × acutifolia Rabenh.
Mentha × agardhiana Fr.
Mentha × arrhenii H.Lindb.
Mentha × beckeri Heinr.Braun
Mentha × calvescens Heinr.Braun
Mentha × cantalica Hérib.
Mentha × cardiaca (Gray) Gerarde ex Baker
Mentha × ciliata Opiz ex Fresen.
Mentha × cinerea Opiz
Mentha × crepiniana T.Durand
Mentha × cruciata Opiz ex Steud.
Mentha × dentata Moench
Mentha × elegans Lej.
Mentha × elliptica Lej.
Mentha × gracilis Sole
Mentha × grata Host
Mentha × heleogeton Heinr.Braun
Mentha × hortensis Tausch ex W.D.J.Koch
Mentha × pauciflora Figert
Mentha × pauliana F.W.Schultz
Mentha × perdentata Heinr.Braun
Mentha × postelbergensis Opiz
Mentha × pratensis Sole
Mentha × pugetii Pérard
Mentha × resinosa Opiz
Mentha × rhomboidifolia Pérard
Mentha × strailii T.Durand
Mentha × subgentilis Heinr.Braun
Mentha × subundulata Borbás
Mentha × variegata Sole
Mentha × vegeta Baker
Mentha × vesana (Lej.) Dalla Torre & Sarnth.
Common Name: Ginger Mint
Mentha x gracilis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.45 metres tall.
Ginger mint is cultivated in European gardens (predominantly West, Central and N Europe) as a medicinal and aromatic plant. Early reports go back to 1600 when it was grown in gardens of Lusatia (E Germany). Today it is one of the most common Mentha races in German gardens. Cultivated on larger fields in the USA (Michigan, Indiana) and commercially in southern England. The essential oil is mainly used for flavouring chewing gum[
]. The plant is also harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.
A hybrid of garden origin,, Mentha arvensis x Mentha spicata.
Not known in a truly wild situation.
|Pollinators||Bees, Lepidoptera, Insects
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade.
A sterile hybrid, the result of a cross between Mentha arvensis and Mentha spicata, though it can back-cross with its parents. There are some named varieties[
], most of which have variegated leaves.
This species produces higher yields of essential oils than its parent, Mentha spicata[
].. However, it is somewhat less easy in cultivation than most other mints, being more susceptible to frost, fungi and insects.. It can be lost over winter if the weather is very cold or wet and so needs to be grown in a warm, well-drained sunny position[
A polymorphic species[
Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil[
The whole plant has a strong minty aroma with a hint of ginger[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
Leaves - raw or cooked. They are used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods[
]. A refreshing odour and taste[
], they are said to go particularly well with melon, tomatoes and fruit salads[
]. The slight ginger scent make them an interesting addition to fresh salads[
A herb tea is made from the leaves.
An essential oil from the leaves is used as a spearmint flavouring, it is especially used in N. America in chewing gums[
Ginger mint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments[
The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use[
The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses[
Mint species are usually good bee and butterfly attractant plants, supplying them with good quality pollen and nectar[
Mints are usually quite aromatic plants and they make good companions for cabbages and tomatoes, their aromatic nature helping to repel insect pests..
The essential oil obtained from the leaves has a spearmint flavour and is used commercially in N. America[
Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. Members of the genus have therefore often been used in homes as strewing herbs and have also been spread in granaries to keep rodents off the stored grain[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division[
Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.