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Mentha australis - R.Br.

Common Name
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
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 Along streams, usually in semi-shade, in inland areas[154].
Range Australia - New South Wales, Victoria.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Mentha australis


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Mentha australis

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Mentha australis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is not frost tender. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are 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: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Dappled Shade;  Shady Edge;  Sunny Edge;  Woodland Garden.

Along streams, usually in semi-shade, in inland areas[154].

Edible Uses

None known

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.

Abortifacient;  Antiseptic;  Carminative;  Febrifuge.

Like many other members of this genus, this species 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[152, 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] and can cause abortions[152].

Other Uses

Essential;  Repellent;  Strewing.

The leaves contain about 0.2% of an essential oil. It is a coarse peppermint[152]. 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].

Cultivation details

We do not have much information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[1, 16, 200]. Prefers a slightly acid soil[16]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but succeeds in partial shade. 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. The whole plant has a mint-like aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies[24]. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to deter pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

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 arvensisCorn Mint, Wild mint32
Mentha arvensis piperascensJapanese Mint32
Mentha arvensis villosaAmerican Wild Mint32
Mentha asiaticaAsian Mint32
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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Author

R.Br.

Botanical References

154

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