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Whorled Mint

Mentha x verticillata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Ditches, fields, grassland, marshes, riverbanks, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Pink, 4 petals
The flowers are in dense whorls around the leaf axils. The whorls are up to 2.5cm across. 4 stamens.
Fruit is never produced in the UK.
The broadly oval, pointed, stalked leaves are in opposite pairs up the erect stem. They are 1 and a half times as long as broad. Perennial. Whorled Mint is a hybrid between Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) and Corn Mint (Mentha arvensis).
Other Names:
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Mentha x verticillata, also known as whorled mint or cornmint, is a hybrid mint plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is a cross between Mentha aquatica and Mentha arvensis. The plant is known for its strong minty scent and small, white or pink flowers. It typically grows in damp, shady places and along riverbanks, ditches, and marshy areas. It's a perennial herb that can reach up to 60 centimeters tall, it has a square stem and the leaves are opposite, toothed, and are usually ovate or lanceolate in shape. The flowers are small and white or pink, and they are arranged in terminal spikes or whorls. The plant is used in the production of mint oil and it is used in food, beverages, and toiletries.


Whorled mint, scientifically known as Mentha x verticillata, is a popular herbaceous plant that is widely used in traditional medicine and cooking. It is a hybrid plant that is believed to have originated from the crossing of Mentha aquatica and Mentha longifolia. The plant is known for its pleasant aroma and taste, which makes it a favorite among gardeners and cooks alike.

Whorled mint is a hardy perennial plant that can grow up to 60 centimeters in height. It has square stems that are covered with fine hairs, and its leaves are lance-shaped, dark green, and arranged in whorls around the stem. The plant produces small, purple flowers that bloom in mid-summer, and these are followed by tiny, brownish-black seeds.

One of the reasons why whorled mint is so popular is its versatility. It is commonly used in cooking to flavor a wide range of dishes, including salads, soups, stews, and sauces. The plant has a strong, minty flavor that is both refreshing and invigorating, and it can be used fresh or dried depending on the recipe.

Apart from its culinary uses, whorled mint is also valued for its medicinal properties. The plant is rich in essential oils, which are believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. As a result, it is often used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, including digestive problems, headaches, and respiratory issues.

Another benefit of whorled mint is its ability to attract pollinators. The plant produces nectar-rich flowers that are a favorite of bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. This makes it an excellent addition to any garden, as it helps to support the local ecosystem and promote biodiversity.

If you're interested in growing whorled mint, it is relatively easy to cultivate. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade. It is a hardy plant that can withstand cold temperatures, but it does require regular watering during the growing season. Whorled mint can be propagated from seeds, cuttings, or by dividing the roots of an established plant.

One of the interesting aspects of whorled mint is its history and origin. As mentioned earlier, it is a hybrid plant that is believed to have originated from the crossing of Mentha aquatica and Mentha longifolia. The plant has been used for thousands of years by different cultures for various purposes, and it has even been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians.

In ancient Rome, whorled mint was considered a symbol of hospitality, and it was commonly used to flavor wine and sauces. The plant was also used by the Greeks and Romans as a perfume and a cosmetic ingredient. In traditional Chinese medicine, whorled mint is believed to have a cooling effect on the body, making it useful for treating fevers and other heat-related conditions.

One of the unique characteristics of whorled mint is its ability to hybridize with other mint species, resulting in a wide range of varieties with different characteristics. Some of the popular varieties of whorled mint include ‘Crispa’, which has curly leaves and a strong aroma, and ‘Variegata’, which has green and white variegated leaves.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, whorled mint also has some interesting cultural and symbolic meanings. In some cultures, the plant is associated with love and romance, and it is sometimes used in wedding bouquets or decorations. In others, it is associated with wisdom and mental clarity, and it is used in rituals and ceremonies.

Whorled mint is known to have a wide range of health benefits, which is why it has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. One of its primary benefits is its ability to aid digestion. The essential oils in the plant can help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which can improve the breakdown and absorption of nutrients in the body. This can lead to better digestion and a reduced risk of digestive problems like bloating, gas, and constipation.

Whorled mint also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a common cause of many chronic diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. By reducing inflammation, whorled mint can help lower the risk of these and other health problems.

The plant is also known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help fight off infections. This makes it useful for treating a wide range of bacterial and fungal infections, including those of the respiratory and digestive systems.

In addition to its physical health benefits, whorled mint has also been found to have a positive effect on mental health. The plant's essential oils can help soothe the mind and reduce stress and anxiety. This can lead to a better mood and a greater sense of wellbeing.

When using whorled mint for medicinal purposes, it is important to use it in moderation and consult with a healthcare professional first, especially if you are pregnant or have an underlying medical condition.

In conclusion, whorled mint is a fascinating and versatile plant that has been used for centuries for its many health benefits. Whether you are interested in cooking, gardening, or traditional medicine, this plant has something to offer. So why not give it a try and see what benefits it can bring to your life and health?

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Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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