Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) Identification Guide

Water Mint / Spring / Summer / Autumn / Edible

Identification Guide for Water Mint

A fairly common, perennial member of the mentha family, it can be found near water or in damp woodlands.

Common Names

Water Mint

Botanical Name

Mentha aquatica

Scientific Classification

Kingdom – Plantae

Order – Lamiales

Family – Lamiaceae

Physical Characteristics for Water Mint


Like all members of the mint family they have square stems. Up to 90 cm tall, the stem can be green to purple in colour.

H. Zell, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


The leaves grow in opposite pairs, they are oval and toothed, they can be green to purple depending on age and smell minty when crushed.

Frank Vincentz, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons


The individual flowers are tiny but they appear as clusters at the tops of the stems and are lilac to purple in colour.

AnRo0002, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


The plant produces wide-spreading rhizomes that are brown in colour.


Damp environments, riverbanks, canals, damp woodlands.

Known Hazards

None Known

Could be Confused with…

With the distinctive aroma it could only really be confused with other members of the mint family, this species is distinguished by growing near water.

Edible Uses

Use as you would shop bought mint. It can be added to salads, pesto’s and dressing. It makes a lovely refreshing tea.

Notes on Herbal Uses

The plant is a mild sedative and is useful in treating stomach upsets and calming the nerves.

Extra notes from the Foragers

When this species hybridises with Spearmint (Mentha spicata) it produces Peppermint.






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