Mint and mintbush

River mint, or river mint



Latin name: Mentha australis. It is a true mint, and can be treated the same way in the garden.

River mint

Eating


  • 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.

Growing


  • 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.

Mintbush


Latin name: Prostanthera spp. Prostanthera ovifolia is one of the best-flavoured. Note that not all prostantheras are edible, so check varieties first.

Mintbush closeup

Eating


  • 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.

Growing


  • 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.