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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

Stems

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

Leaves

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

Flowers

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

Roots

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


Habitat

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.


Resources

https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/mentha-aquatica/

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/water-mint

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/mint/growing-watermint.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_aquatica#:~:text=Water%20mint%20is%20a%20herbaceous,fleshy%2C%20and%20bear%20fibrous%20roots.

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