Mentha satureioides

Botanical Name : Mentha satureioides
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales

Common Name : Creeping Mint, Native Pennyroyal

Habitat ;  Mentha satureioides  is native to  Australia – New South Wales, Queensland. It grows on the banks of rivers and creeks, open forests and pastures, especially on shale.

Description:
Mentha satureioides is a perennial mat forming creeping herb, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is  rhizomatous and often producing ascending to prostrate branches at nodes; branches glabrous or covered with short spreading hairs. Leaves with lamina narrow-elliptic to linear-elliptic, 0.5–3.5 cm long, 2–7 mm wide; apex obtuse or rounded; margins entire; petiole 0–3 mm long.

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Flowers (Small, white or pink. Probably insect pollinated.) in 3-flowered clusters in axil of a pair of leaves. Calyx 13-ridged, fused to at least two-thirds its length; lobes broad-acute; outer surface glabrous or with a few short hairs and longer ones on margin. Corolla 3–5 mm long, white or pink. Anthers ± exserted.

Fruit: Small capsule 3 mm wide and 5 mm long containing up to 4 seeds but averaging only 2 seeds per fruit.

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Seed: Dry, mature December. Dispersed locally. Some dormancy.

It  is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The whole plant has a mint-like aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to keep them free of insect pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.
Edible Uses: Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods. A herb tea is made from the leaves

Medicinal Uses:
When early European settlers found this plant growing in Australia they soon discovered it had similar properties to that of the European pennyroyal.  It was boiled in water and used to relieve menstrual irregularities.  A pungently aromatic, tonic, decongestant herb that improves the digestion, stimulates the uterus, and relieves spasms and pain.  Internally used for colds, excess mucus, indigestion, colic, and menstrual complaints.  Used as a substitute for both M. x piperita and M. pulegium.
Other Uses: An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. It has a scent intermediate between pennyroyal and peppermint. The plant is used as an insect repellent. 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 grai.
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.

Disclaimer:
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.

Resources:
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha
http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/science/Evolutionary_Ecology_Research/Ecology_of_Cumberland_Plain_Woodland/woodland_plants/mentha_satureoides
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Mentha~satureioides
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

.http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+satureioides

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