Pages

Friday, 26 June 2020

Not Your Usual Mint Bushes

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Prostanthera lasianthos and other species. Australian Mint Bush

It smells like mint but is it? The leaves are round or sometimes oval or even pointy. 
    Prostanthera ovalifolia
It’s even in the same family as common mint: Lamiaceae

Australia does have a wide variety of endemic mint bushes.

There are 90 species all of which originate somewhere in the bush,  but how well does it do in your garden?

I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, qualified horticulturist and native plant expert.

Prostanthera comes from the Greek for an appendage because inside the flowers are small spur-like appendages on the anthers.
These minty plants are bushy, evergreen shrubs, usually with strongly aromatic leaves.
Heaps of purple flowers covers the soft leaves all through spring and early summer, attracting butterflies and small insect-eating birds. 
did you know?
  • Mint bushes often wilt when they badly need a water, particular in the summer months.Because of this, they are excellent "indicator" plant for the rest of the garden.
Prostanthera lasianthos
Some of the varieties available are:
Prostanthera lasianthos is quick growing and in good conditions may reach 8-10 metres. Tolerates heavy shade as well as full sun.
P. ovalifolia has very aromatic foliage. Quick growing and spectacular in flower. Prune back by about one third to keep that bushy habit. Suitable for full sun or semi shade.
P. rotundifolia- Very aromatic foliage. Quick growing and spectacular in flower. Needs pruning back by about one third every year to keep a bushy habit. Can grow in sun or semi shade. 
The leaves are round while growing as a compact shrub that reaches a height of one and a half metres in our garden.  The flowers are over one centimetre wide and mauve to purple
Plant it along a pathway so you get the benefit of brushing past the fragrant leaves.

Good pot plant also. Feed with a good native fertiliser, watering in afterwards to avoid leaf or root burn.

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.






No comments:

Post a comment