River mint, or river mint
: Mentha australis
. It is a true mint, and can be treated the same way in the garden.
- Very strong pennyroyal flavour.
- Use very sparingly.
- Best in savoury dishes in conjunction with other herbs and spices to round out flavours.
- Can be used in sweet dishes - again, in small quantities.
- Is a true mint, and requires good sun and water to survive.
- Is not as invasive as exotic mints, but can take over a section of garden if it has no other competition and the long, wiry stems may need cutting back every few years.
- Easily transplanted to new sections by finding a runner with roots.
- Seems to tolerate frost well as long as it has good sunlight and water.
spp. Prostanthera ovifolia
is one of the best-flavoured. Note that not all prostantheras are edible, so check varieties first.
- Strong, “dark” minty flavour.
- Similar flavour profile as rosemary, and works very well as a substitute.
- Good with savoury dishes such as lamb.
- Excellent in a herb and/or spice mix, such as with salt or other herbs.
- Can be used fresh or dried.
- Very pretty medium-sized shrub with purple flowers that responds well to pruning; readily available in nurseries as a result.
- Do well in cool climate and frosty areas.
- Frost tolerant even while young.
- Hedge extremely well and appreciate being lightly pruned to keep in shape.
- If not pruned, can get very sprawling over the years.