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Useful Temperate Plants

Mentha longifolia

(L.) L.

Lamiaceae


Mentha longifolia is a very variable species with over 150 synonyms. It is generally treated as comprising of a number of subspecies and variieties, though the number and their limits are not generally agreed upon. At present (2019) there are more than 20 subspecies and varieties that are accepted (though opinions can vary as to whether they are subspecies or varieties). We have tried to include the various taxons below that seem to be in use, and have also tried to include a general list of synonyms, but acknowledge that it is incomplete.

+ Synonyms

Mentha × villosa nouletiana (Timb.-Lagr.) Topitz

Mentha acroceraia (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha acuminata Topitz

Mentha aequifrons Trautm. & Urum.

Mentha albida Déségl. & T.Durand ex Briq.

Mentha albida Rchb. ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha alpigena A.Kern.

Mentha ambigua Guss.

Mentha asiatica Boriss.

Mentha asperata (Timb.-Lagr.) Pérard

Mentha bacsensis Trautm.

Mentha baldensis Heinr.Braun

Mentha balsamiflora Heinr.Braun

Mentha bezdanensis Prodan

Mentha brachyclada Sennen

Mentha brassoensis (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha brevispicata Opiz ex Strail

Mentha brittingeri Opiz

Mentha caerulescens Opiz ex Strail

Mentha calliantha Stapf

Mentha candicans Mill.

Mentha canescens Roth

Mentha capensis Thunb.

Mentha cardiophyllos Borbás ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha castellana Sennen & Elías

Mentha caucasica (Briq.) Vorosch.

Mentha caucasica Gand.

Mentha chaunanthera (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha chrysostomi Sennen

Mentha coerulescens Opiz ex Déségl.

Mentha collivaga (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha concolor Stapf

Mentha cordata Posp.

Mentha crispa Ten.

Mentha cyprica Heinr.Braun

Mentha danubialis Borbás & Heinr.Braun

Mentha danubialis Gand.

Mentha decloetiana Opiz ex Déségl.

Mentha densicapilla (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha despecta Sennen

Mentha dionisiana Sennen

Mentha domingoi Sennen

Mentha dulcissima Dumort.

Mentha eisensteiniana Opiz

Mentha ensidens (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha favratii Déségl. & T.Durand

Mentha filina Wallr.

Mentha firmicaulis (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha flanatica Borbás ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha foliosa Opiz

Mentha foroiulensis (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha glaucostachya (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha grisella Briq.

Mentha halleri C.C.Gmel.

Mentha hamadanensis Stapf

Mentha hapalophylla (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha hispidula Boreau

Mentha hollosyana Borbás

Mentha horridula (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha hugueninii Déségl. & T.Durand

Mentha hybrida Schleich.

Mentha illyrica Borbás & Heinr.Braun

Mentha incana Willd.

Mentha ischnostachya (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha josephi Sennen

Mentha jucunda Sennen

Mentha jurana (Déségl. & T.Durand) Heinr.Braun

Mentha kopetdaghensis Boriss.

Mentha kotschyana (Boiss.) Heinr.Braun

Mentha kozorensis Trautm.

Mentha krassoensis Heinr.Braun

Mentha kuncii Borbás

Mentha laggeri Déségl. & T.Durand

Mentha lavandulacea Willd.

Mentha lavandulifolia Pers.

Mentha lereschii Déségl. & T.Durand

Mentha leucantha Borbás ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha ligustrina Heinr.Braun

Mentha litigiosa Sennen

Mentha longifolia calliantha (Stapf) Briq.

Mentha macilenta (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha marisensis Simonk.

Mentha mentita Sennen

Mentha microcephala (Gelmi) Dalla Torre & Sarnth.

Mentha microstachya Sennen

Mentha minutiflora Borbás ex A. Kern.

Mentha mixta Sennen

Mentha mollicoma Opiz ex Déségl.

Mentha mollis (Rochel) Trautm.

Mentha monticola Déségl. & T.Durand

Mentha mosztongensis Trautm.

Mentha nativitatis-mariae Sennen

Mentha neilreichiana Heinr.Braun

Mentha nematostachya (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha nigrescens K.Koch

Mentha noeana Boiss.

Mentha norica Heinr.Braun

Mentha nouletiana Timb.-Lagr.

Mentha oblonga Opiz

Mentha omissa Sennen

Mentha pachylodes (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha pagana (Topitz) Domin

Mentha pallida Nees ex Mart.

Mentha panormitana Heinr.Braun

Mentha pantotricha (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha paramecophyllon (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha pedroi Sennen

Mentha persica Benth.

Mentha petitrix Sennen

Mentha phaeocoma (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha planitiensis (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha procera Sennen

Mentha psiloclada Sennen

Mentha ratisbonensis Opiz

Mentha recta Déségl. & T.Durand

Mentha reflexifolia Opiz

Mentha retinervis Borbás ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha rocheliana Borbás & Heinr.Braun

Mentha rotundifolia Sole

Mentha rozaliae Trautm.

Mentha salicina Burch. ex Benth.

Mentha sapida Tausch ex Rchb.

Mentha seriata A.Kern.

Mentha serotina Ten.

Mentha serratula (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha serrulata Opiz ex Déségl.

Mentha sphaerostachya Haussm. ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha spicata longifolia L.

Mentha stenantha Borbás ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha stenanthelmia (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha stenoclada Sennen

Mentha stenostachya K.Richt.

Mentha stenotricha Borbás

Mentha suavis Hoffm. ex Sm.

Mentha suavissima Lej. ex Malinv.

Mentha subincana Heinr.Braun

Mentha subviridis Borbás ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha sylvestris L.

Mentha sylvestris polyadena Briq.

Mentha sylvestris typhoides Briq.

Mentha syrmiensis Borbás ex Heinr.Braun

Mentha szamosiana (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha szenezyana Borbás

Mentha szilyana Borbás

Mentha taphrophila (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha tenorei Pérard

Mentha thaumasia (Murr) Dalla Torre & Sarnth.

Mentha tomentosa Stokes

Mentha transmota Déségl. & T.Durand

Mentha transsilvanica Schur

Mentha uliginosa Salisb.

Mentha ulotricha (Topitz) Trautm.

Mentha vagans Boriss.

Mentha vallesiaca (Briq.) Trautm.

Mentha veroniciformis Opiz ex Déségl.

Mentha viridescens Borbás

Mentha weinerniana Opiz ex Déségl.

Mentha wierzbickiana Opiz

Mentha wissii Launert

Mentha wondracekii Opiz ex Déségl.

Common Name: Horsemint

No Image.

General Information

Mentha longifolia is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Various forms of horsemint are cultivated for their use as flavourings, sources of essential oil etc, and as a medicinal plant.

Known Hazards

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.

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

Central and southern Europe, including Britain, Mediterranean region, Siberia.

Habitat

Waste places and damp roadsides[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Lepidoptera, Insects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Mentha longifolia is a moderately cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -20°c when fully dormant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but the plants also succeed in partial shade.
Mentha longifolia is a very varable species and is generally treated as comprising several varieties and subspecies. Botanists often do not agree with each other over the best way to treat the species, but the following list of subspecies are generally accepted. They can vary quite widely from each other in the composition of essential oils, and therefore the flavour, aroma and specific uses of the plants, but generally have more or less similar uses.
Mentha longifolia var amphilema Briq. ex Rech.f. Native to western Asia, found in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq.
Mentha longifolia var asiatica (Boriss.) Rech.f. Native to southwestern and central Asia to Himalayan regions of China.
Mentha longifolia var austroafghanica Rech.f. Native only to Afghanistan.
Mentha longifolia subsp calliantha (Stapf) Briq. Native to western Asia, found in eastern Turkey and northern Iran. This is not always seen as distinct and is sometimes included in Mentha longifolia typhoides.
Mentha longifolia subsp capensis (Thunb.) Briq. Native to southern Africa, found from southern Namibia and southern Zimbabwe to the Cape.
Mentha longifolia subsp caucasica Briq. Restricted, as the name implies, to the Caucasus where it is both native and cultivated.
Mentha longifolia var chlorodictya Rech.f. Native to southwest Asia in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Transcaucasus and Turkmenistan
Mentha longifolia subsp hymalaiensis Briq. Native to the Himalayas from Afghanistan through Pakistan and western India to Nepal.
Mentha longifolia var kermamensis Rech.f. Native only to Iran.
Mentha longifolia var kotschyana (Boiss.) Briq. Native to southwest Asia in eastern Turkey and Iran.
Mentha longifolia subsp longifolia Widely spread through Europe and Russia to western Siberia, Himalayas, northern and eastern Africa.
Mentha longifolia subsp minutiflora (Borbás ex A. Kern.) Briq. Native to Europe, where it is found in Hungary, Mecedonia and Greece.
Mentha longifolia var muqarrabica Shinwari & Chaudhri. Native to Pakistan.
Mentha longifolia subsp noeana (Briq.) Briq.Native to Turkey.
Mentha longifolia var petiolata Boiss. Southwest Asia from northern Iraq to northern and western Iran.
Mentha longifolia subsp polyadenia (Briq.) Briq. Native to southeastern southern Africa.
Mentha longifolia var schimperi (Briq.) Briq.Western Asia - Egypt (Sinai), Saudi Arabia.
Mentha longifolia var swatica Shinwari & Chaudhri. E. Asia - Pakistan
Mentha longifolia subsp typhoides (Briq.) Harley. Eastern Mediterranean to Iran.
Mentha longifolia subsp wissii (Launert) Codd. Southern Africa, Namibia, S. Africa
Sometimes cultivated for its leaves, there are some named varieties[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].
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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.
The whole plant has a mint-like aroma.
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked. Peppermint-scented, they are used as a flavouring in salads, chutneys and cooked foods[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
,
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
A herb tea is made from the leaves[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].
An essential oil obtained from the leaves and flowering tops is used as a food flavouring in sweets etc[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. A peppermint-like taste[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

Medicinal

Horsemint, 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.
The leaves and flowering stems are antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, carminative and stimulant[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
148
Title
Herbs of Greece.
Publication
 
Author
Niebuhr. A. D.
Publisher
Herb Society of America.
Year
1970
ISBN
-
Description
A pleasant little book about Greek herbs.
,
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
]. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-395-46722-5
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
]. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-395-46722-5
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Mint species are usually good bee and butterfly attractant plants, supplying them with good quality pollen and nectar[
24
Title
Making a Wildlife Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Baines. C.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly good with lots of ideas about creating wildlife areas in the garden.
]
Mints are usually quite aromatic plants and they make good companions for cabbages and tomatoes, their aromatic nature helping to repel insect pests..

Other Uses

The leaves contain about 0.57% essential oil[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is sometimes used as a substitute for peppermint oil in confectionery[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

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[
244
Title
Herbs
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Foy. N.
Publisher
Pan Books Ltd. London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-330-30725-8
Description
Deals with all types of herbs including medicinal, culinary, scented and dye plants. Excellent photographs with quite good information on each plant.
].

Propagation

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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
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.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2024-05-29. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Mentha+longifolia>

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