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Mentha arvensis - L.

Common Name Corn Mint, Wild mint
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 4-8
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.
Habitats Arable land, heaths, damp edges of woods[5, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, N. Asia and the Himalayas.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Mentha arvensis Corn Mint, Wild mint


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Mentha arvensis Corn Mint, Wild mint
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Mentha arvensis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

M. austriaca.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Shady Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Leaves - raw or cooked. A reasonably strong minty flavour with a slight bitterness, they are used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods[5, 172, 183]. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[21, 183]. An essential oil from the plant is used as a flavouring in sweets and beverages[183]. The leaves contain about 0.2% essential oil[218].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anaesthetic;  Antiphlogistic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Aromatic;  Cancer;  Carminative;  Diaphoretic;  
Emmenagogue;  Febrifuge;  Galactofuge;  Salve;  Stimulant;  Stomachic.

Corn 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. The whole plant is anaesthetic, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, galactofuge, refrigerant, stimulant and stomachic[147, 172, 218]. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments[222]. The leaves are a classical remedy for stomach cancer[218]. Another report says that this species is not very valuable medicinally[4]. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use[238]. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses[222].

Other Uses

Essential;  Repellent;  Strewing.

The plant is used as an insect repellent[18, 20, 99]. 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[244]. The leaves also repel various insects[257]. An essential oil is obtained from the plant[238]. The yield from the leaves is about 0.8%[240]. The sub-species M. arvensis piperascens produces the best oil, which can be used as a substitute for, or adulterant of, peppermint oil[238]. Yields of up to 1.6% have been obtained from this sub-species[240].

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[1, 16, 200]. This species tolerates much drier conditions than other members of the genus[238]. Prefers a slightly acid soil[16]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[238]. 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]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Polymorphic[200]. The whole plant has a very strong, almost oppressive, smell of mint[245]. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies[24]. A good companion plant for growing near brassicas and tomatoes, helping to deter insect pests[20]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

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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]. 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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Mentha aquaticaWater Mint33
Mentha arvensis piperascensJapanese Mint32
Mentha arvensis villosaAmerican Wild Mint32
Mentha asiaticaAsian Mint32
Mentha australis 02
Mentha cervinaHart's Pennyroyal32
Mentha cunninghamia 02
Mentha diemenica 22
Mentha longifoliaHorsemint22
Mentha pulegiumPennyroyal33
Mentha requieniiCorsican Mint, Mint32
Mentha satureioidesNative Pennyroyal22
Mentha species 22
Mentha spicataSpearmint43
Mentha suaveolensRound-Leaved Mint, Apple mint, Pineapple Mint22
Mentha x gracilisGinger Mint32
Mentha x piperita citrataEau De Cologne Mint, Eau de Cologne Mint, Peppermint22
Mentha x piperita officinalisWhite Peppermint35
Mentha x piperita vulgarisBlack Peppermint45
Mentha x smithianaRed Raripila Mint32
Mentha x villosa alopecuroidesApple Mint42

 

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