Water Mint

©Philip Precey

Water Mint

Scientific name: Mentha aquatica
Water Mint grows in damp places and has aromatic leaves that can be used to flavour food and drink. Gathering wild food can be fun, but it's best to do it with an expert - come to a Wildlife Trust event to try it.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

July to October

About

There are about 14 or 15 species or hybrids of mint growing in the UK, most of which have very aromatic leaves. Water Mint prefers damp habitats and grows in water, making it a good choice for wildlife ponds and bog gardens. Its leaves can be used in the same way as other mints, flavouring cooking and drinks. It flowers from July to October and spreads vigorously using its creeping runners.

How to identify

Water Mint has hairy, oval, toothed leaves that appear in whorls around the reddish stems. It produces dense clusters of lilac-pink flowers at the ends of its stems.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Water Mint is very attractive to a variety of insects, including Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma butterflies, as well as the Green Tortoise Beetle.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.