Mentha × villosa
Mentha × alopecuroides Hull
Mentha × amaurophylla Timb.-Lagr.
Mentha × benthamiana Timb.-Lagr.
Mentha × billotiana Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × bolzanensis Heinr.Braun
Mentha × cordifolia Opiz ex Lej. & Courtois
Mentha × dossiniana Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × dumortieri Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × emarginata Rchb.
Mentha × floccida Déségl.
Mentha × genevensis (T.Durand ex Déségl.) Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × gillotii Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × gratissima Weber
Mentha × incanescens Heinr.Braun
Mentha × lamarckii Ten.
Mentha × lamyi Malinv.
Mentha × latifrons Heinr.Braun
Mentha × longistachya Timb.-Lagr.
Mentha × lycopifolia Gillot
Mentha × malyi Heinr.Braun
Mentha × moesiaca Borbás
Mentha × morrenii Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × mosoniensis Heinr.Braun
Mentha × nemorosa Willd.
Mentha × nicholsoniana Strail
Mentha × niliaca alopecuroides (Hull) J.Fraser
Mentha × niliacea Vahl
Mentha × pascuicola Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × pulverulenta Strail
Mentha × rhenana Topitz
Mentha × rigoi Heinr.Braun
Mentha × rotundifolia velutina (Lej.) Briq.
Mentha × rotundifolia webberi (J.Fraser) Harley
Mentha × scotica R.A.Graham
Mentha × similis Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × speciosa Strail
Mentha × thurmannii Déségl. & T.Durand
Mentha × timbalii (Briq.) Rouy
Mentha × velutina Lej.
Mentha × veneta Heinr.Braun
Mentha spicata cordifolia (Opiz ex Lej. & Courtois) Schinz & Thell.
Mentha spicata scotica (R.A.Graham) P.D.Sell
Mentha sylvestris alopecuroides (Hull) Baker
Mentha viridis cordifolia (Opiz ex Lej. & Courtois) Pérard
Common Name: Apple Mint
Mentha × villosa is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to.60cm tall.
Apple mint is used as a domestic herbal remedy and also as a food flavouring, in particular being used to make 'mint sauce', a popular food flavouring, especially in Britain. The plant is often grown in gardens and also sometimes on a commercial basis.
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.
Central and southern Europe - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Germany, Britain, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland
Roadsides and in ditches in the S. and W. of England[
]. Probably a hybrid, Mentha spicata x Mentha suaveolens.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Lepidoptera, Insects
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Mentha × villosa is a very cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -25°c when fully dormant
A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a slightly acid soil[
]. A sunny position is best for the production of essential oils, but the plant also succeeds in partial shade.
Apple mint is commonly grown in the herb garden. There is at least one named variety, 'Bowles mint' is said to be a superior form and it is the form usually cultivated commercially for mint sauce. Unlike most members of the genus, this species is resistant to the disease 'rust'[
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[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.
The whole plant has a strong aroma of spearmint.
The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies[
]. A good companion for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to keep them free of insect pests[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. A strong spearmint flavour, they are used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods[
], this is also the main species that is used to make mint sauce.
A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[
Apple 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 of most mint species 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..
An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant.
The plant repels insects and was formerly used as a strewing herb[
]. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the 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.