Suaveolens

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Mentha suaveolens - Applemint

[IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]

Identification

"Mentha suaveolens is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in) at a fast rate."
"It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife."[PFAF]
"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."[PFAF]
General: "Perennial herb from a stolon; stems erect, branched, 50-90 cm tall, densely-soft-hairy, 4-angled; strongly fragrant, apple-scented." [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: "Opposite, egg-shaped, oblong, or broadly elliptic, 1-4 cm long, bases slightly notched, tips generally rounded, margins toothed, hairy and wrinkled above, dense-woolly beneath; unstalked, or nearly so." [IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: "Inflorescence of many flower clusters crowded into terminal spikes, subtended by linear or awl-like bracts; flower stalks hairy; corollas tubular, 2-3 mm long, pinkish or white, hairy outside, 4-lobed, the lobes nearly equal; calyces 1-1.5 mm long, short-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: "Nutlets, 4 clustered together, egg-shaped." [IFBC-E-flora]
Habitat / Range
"Moist waste places and ditches in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC; introduced from Europe." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Damp ground that often dries out in summer, from sea level to 400 metres in Turkey[93]. S. and W. Europe, north to the Netherlands and east into W. Asia."[PFAF]
Origin Status: Exotic [E-flora]
Synonyms


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." [PFAF]


Edible Uses

"Apple mint is a favourite general-purpose mint for use in bulk quantities. The leaves and young stems can be used over a very long season – all year round in very mild locations." [Crawford FFFG] "The crushed stems smell like a combination of ether and peppermint (Morton 1976)." [Small CH]

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

"Round leafed 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 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[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]." [PFAF]


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."[PFAF]


Cultivation
"A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[1, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but plants also succeed in partial shade. Often cultivated as a pot herb[50]. There are some named varieties[200]. The flowers have a sickly sweet smell[50]. A very invasive plant, spreading freely at the roots[200]. Unless you have the space to let it roam, it needs to be restrained by some means such as planting it in a container that is buried in the soil[K]. It is said to be a good companion for cabbages and tomatoes, its aromatic leaves repelling insect pests, though its aggressive root system also needs to be taken into account here. The whole plant has a mint-like aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus."[PFAF]

Copper Accumulation: "Pratas et al. (2013) reported Cu accumulation in Digitalis purpurea (39 mg kg−1), Phytolacca americana (30 mg kg−1), and Mentha suaveolens (28 mg kg−1) from an abandoned Pb mine in Central Portugal." [Phytorem1]


Mentha Sp. - Mint

"Mentha (mint) is a genus of about 25 species (and many hundreds of varieties) of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae (mint family).42" [Aggarwal MTTUS]


References


Caution
The information presented on this site is provided for educational purposes. Self diagnosis and treatment, without due diligence, could be harmful and is not encouraged. Some information & images may be copyright. Every effort has been made to present the information in the spirit with which it was originally presented. Some data has been omitted for legal and/or practical consideration. There is some data not covered in the scope of this project, including, but not limited to, cell culture and large-dose animal studies. I have made comparisons and links between related species which may later prove erroneous. I have not verified the information for accuracy and I accept no responsibility for its authenticity. Many of the plants presented are poisonous, have poisonous properties, or could cause illness through misuse, allergic reaction, drug interactions and environmental contaminants. Please use caution and mindfulness when harvesting plants for any use.

Page last modified on 16-02-2017