Marrubium aquaticum (L.) Uspenski
Mentha acuta Opiz
Mentha acutata Opiz
Mentha adspersa Moench
Mentha affinis Boreau
Mentha aromatica Opiz ex Déségl.
Mentha augusta Opiz ex Déségl.
Mentha auneticensis Opiz
Mentha aurita Weihe ex Fresen.
Mentha avellinii Tod. ex Bertol.
Mentha avellinii Tod. ex Lojac.
Mentha brachiata Weihe ex Fresen.
Mentha bugulifolia Weihe ex Fresen.
Mentha calaminthifolia (Vis.) Heinr.Braun
Mentha cetica Heinr.Braun
Mentha chaixii Strail
Mentha cordata Jan ex Nyman
Mentha crenatodentata Strail
Mentha denticulata Strail
Mentha deseglisei Malinv.
Mentha dubia Chaix ex Vill.
Mentha dunensis Strail
Mentha duriuscula (Haw. ex Spach) Trautm.
Mentha elongata (Pérard) Heinr.Braun
Mentha eriantha K.Koch
Mentha glomerata Stokes
Mentha grandidentata Strail
Mentha hirsuta Huds.
Mentha hirta Caldas
Mentha hybrida Aresch.
Mentha hygrophila Topitz
Mentha hystrix Heinr.Braun
Mentha incisoserrata Strail
Mentha intermedia Host
Mentha intricata Debeaux
Mentha lateovata Strail
Mentha latifolia Nolte ex Hornem.
Mentha limicola Strail
Mentha limnetes (Topitz) Trautm.
Mentha limosa (Schur) Heinr.Braun
Mentha littoralis Strail
Mentha lloydii Boreau
Mentha lobeliana (Becker) Heinr.Braun
Mentha macrocephala Strail
Mentha microcephala Strail
Mentha nederheimensis Strail
Mentha nigrescens Weihe ex Fresen.
Mentha obliqua Raf.
Mentha obtuseserrata Opiz ex Malinv.
Mentha obtusifolia Opiz ex Déségl.
Mentha odorata Sole
Mentha origanoides Lej. ex Fingerh.
Mentha origanoides Ten.
Mentha ortmanniana Opiz
Mentha paludosa Sole
Mentha palustris Mill.
Mentha pireana Strail
Mentha polyanthetica (Topitz) Trautm.
Mentha probabilis Schur
Mentha purpurea Host
Mentha pyrifolia A.Kern.
Mentha pyrifolia Heinr.Braun
Mentha ramosissima Strail
Mentha ranina Opiz
Mentha rauscheri Topitz
Mentha riparia Lej. ex Malinv.
Mentha riparia Schreb.
Mentha rudaeana Opiz
Mentha sativa Sm.
Mentha soleana Strail
Mentha stagnalis Topitz
Mentha stolonifera Opiz
Mentha subspicata Weihe ex Fresen.
Mentha subthermalis Trautm.
Mentha tinantiana Lej. ex Malinv.
Mentha trojana Heinr.Braun
Mentha umbrosa Opiz
Mentha urticifolia Ten.
Mentha viennensis Opiz
Mentha weiheana Opiz
Mentha weissenburgensis F.W.Schultz ex Nyman
Common Name: Water Mint
Mentha aquatica is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from a spreading, rhizomatous rootstock. It forms a loose cluster of branched stems that can grow from 50 - 150cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. Water mint has been cultivated for probably more than 2,000 years for use as an aromatic and medicinal plant and is stillgrown in a small scale, especially a glabrous form that is grown in northern Italy as a source of the essential oil linalool[
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.
Throughout Europe, except northern Russia, to the Caucasus and Iran; West Siberia, Mediterranean Africa, east and south Africa
Swamps, fen, marshes, near rivers, streams and ponds, in wet woods[
|Other Uses Rating
|Bees, Lepidoptera, Insects
Mentha aquatica is a moderately cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -20°c when fully dormant[200
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. Plants can grow in water up to 15cm deep[
Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will often 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[
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 leaf shape of this species is very variable - one of the reasons for the very long list of synonyms given above!. All specimens found in east Africa have hermaphrodite flowers with exserted anthers. Individuals with functionally female flowers, with included stamens, occur widely elsewhere[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.
The whole plant, especially when bruised, has a pungent aroma of bergamot[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
Leaves - raw or cooked. A strong distinctive peppermint-like fragrance[
]. Used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods[
]. The leaves are too pungent for most people to use as a flavouring[
A herb tea is made from the leaves[
The leaves are anodyne, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emetic, refrigerant, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator[
]. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments[
]. It is also used as a mouth-wash and a gargle for treating sore throats, ulcers, bad breath etc[
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 plant repels flies, mice and rats[
]. It has a pleasant, fresh scent and was formerly used as a strewing herb and has been strewn in granaries to keep mice and rats off the grain[
The plant, harvested before flowering, yields about 0.8% essential oil[
]. The fresh or dried plant is very good when used in herbal baths and can also be used in herb pillows[
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.