Mentha longifolia

Mentha longifolia

Common Names

Wild Spearmint (english)

Taxonomy

Family LAMIACEAE
Genus Mentha
Specie longifolia
SA Plant Number
Basionym Mentha longifolia

Description

Mentha longifolia is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial herb which grows in damp areas and has long, thin, bright-green leaves with slightly serrated margins. When crushed they are strongly mint-scented.

It has slender spikes of white to pale-mauve flowers from December to February. It is an essential element of a butterfly garden and also attracts other pollinating insects and thus insectiverous birds to the garden.

Makes a delicious herbal tea and can be added to cordials and other cold drinks.

Excellent for moist areas of the garden or wetland features. It spreads rapidly, so cut off excess shoots and prune regularly to keep in shape. Although it does best in full sun it tolerates a little light shade.

Size: up to 1m

Wildlife

lnsect food plant:

Excellent nectar-providing food plant for bees and other pollinating insects. 

Uses

Culinary:

Use in Iced tea, add to cordials and other cold drinks. Blend with vanilla ice-cream for a delicious spearmint milkshake.

Landscaping:

Plant around edges of dams, ponds and other water features or in in damp part of the garden. It grows vigorously so keep clipping off runners and side shoots for a more compact growth habit.

Distribution

Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape
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