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Synonyms : M. gracilis.
Common Name :Maori Mint or Slender Mint.
Habitat :Mentha diemenica occurs in grassland and forest habitats from the Mt Lofty Ranges in South Australia, throughout Victoria and Tasmania, and north to the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
It grows on moist, usually sunny situations up to the montane zone. Open forests and grasslands, usually on sandy soils.
Mentha diemenica is a perennial plant growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife. It is a strongly suckering plant which in cold, dry conditions may become dormant, but when growing vigorously forms a dense ground cover 10-15 cm high.
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The dull green, opposite leaves are ovate to lanceolate and 4-12 cm long. They are usually entire, but occasionally obscure teeth are noticed on the leaf margins. Leaves may be sessile or have a short petiole.
Flowers are borne in the upper leaf axils from late spring to summer. Each axil bears one to four flowers, giving two to eight flowers at each node. They are usually mauve or lilac with four small petals each extending 2-3 mm beyond the tubular calyx.
M. diemenica grows well in a slightly damp site in either reasonably heavy shade or full sun. In good conditions in a rockery it may become invasive and thus should be contained in a rock pocket or regularly controlled by removing suckers. It is a desirable plant between drive strips or near stepping stones where its fragrant aroma is noticed when it is trodden on.
Propagation is done from cuttings taken at any time when the plant is growing vigorously, or by division when rooted pieces may be removed and re-established in a new situation. These new plants must be kept moist after transplanting.
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.
Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in summer drinks. A herb tea is made from the leaves
A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses. A decoction of this plant was used occasionally to induce sweating.
An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. The plant is used as a strewing herb for repelling insects. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.
Known Hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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