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Mentha arvensis villosa - (Benth.)S.R.Stewart.

Common Name American 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 Moist places at low to moderate elevations[204].
Range N. America - New Brunswick to Manitoba, British Columbia, Virginia, New Mexico and Nevada.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Mentha arvensis villosa American Wild Mint


Mentha arvensis villosa American Wild Mint

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Mentha arvensis villosa is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4 and is not frost tender. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
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: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

M. canadensis. L.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment  Tea

Leaves - raw or cooked. Fragrant and pleasant tasting, the leaves are used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods[183, 257]. A herb tea is made from the leaves[183, 257].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.
Antiseptic  Carminative  Febrifuge  Stomachic

American wild 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 decoction of the ground leaves and stems is used to treat feelings of nausea[213]. The tea is also used in the treatment of colds, fevers, sore throats, gas, colic, indigestion etc[222]. 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].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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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]. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves, it is used as a flavouring for toothpastes etc[61]. It contains thymol and pulegone[213].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

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]. The whole plant has a very strong smell of mint[245]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. 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].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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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]. 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

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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Mentha aquaticaWater MintPerennial1.0 5-9  LMHSNMWeWa333
Mentha arvensisCorn Mint, Wild mintPerennial0.5 4-8  LMHSNDM323
Mentha arvensis piperascensJapanese MintPerennial0.5 4-8  LMHSNM322
Mentha asiaticaAsian MintPerennial1.0 -  LMHSNM322
Mentha australis Perennial0.5 -  LMHSNM022
Mentha cervinaHart's PennyroyalPerennial0.3 6-9  LMHSNM322
Mentha cunninghamia Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM022
Mentha diemenica Perennial0.1 -  LMHSNM222
Mentha longifoliaHorsemintPerennial1.0 5-9  LMHSNM222
Mentha pulegiumPennyroyalPerennial0.4 6-9  LMHSNM333
Mentha requieniiCorsican Mint, MintPerennial0.1 5-9  LMHSNM323
Mentha satureioidesNative PennyroyalPerennial0.3 5-9  LMHSNM222
Mentha speciesMintPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNM222
Mentha spicataSpearmintPerennial0.6 3-9  LMHSNM433
Mentha suaveolensRound-Leaved Mint, Apple mint, Pineapple MintPerennial1.0 5-10 FLMHSNM222
Mentha x gracilisGinger MintPerennial0.5 5-9  LMHSNM322
Mentha x piperita citrataEau De Cologne Mint, Eau de Cologne Mint, PeppermintPerennial0.3 3-9 FLMHSNM223
Mentha x piperita officinalisWhite PeppermintPerennial0.5 3-7  LMHSNM353
Mentha x piperita vulgarisBlack PeppermintPerennial0.5 3-7  LMHSNM453
Mentha x smithianaRed Raripila MintPerennial1.0 5-9  LMHSNM322
Mentha x villosa alopecuroidesApple Mint, Bowles' MintPerennial0.6 4-8  LMHSNM423

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

(Benth.)S.R.Stewart.

Botanical References

43200204

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