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Tall Mint

Mentha x smithiana

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Gardens, riversides, waterside, wetland.

Pink, 4 petals
The flowers appear in compact clusters at the bases of the leaves. Pollinated by bees.
A small, dry capsule which produces 1 to 4 seeds. The seeds ripen in September and October.
Roundish, toothed leaves, appearing along the upright stem in opposite pairs. The stems are often purplish. A hybrid between Corn Mint, Water Mint and Spear Mint (making identification difficult). Usually seen as a garden escape species. Perennial.
Smells of mint.
Other Names:
Banana Mint, Ginger Mint, Red Mint, Red Rarapila, Red Rarapila Mint, Tall Red Mint.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Mentha x smithiana is a hybrid mint plant that is a cross between Mentha aquatica and Mentha spicata. It is also known as "Ginger mint" or "Banana mint" due to its unique aroma. This mint is commonly used as a culinary herb and in aromatherapy. It is a hardy, fast-growing plant that can be grown as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 5-9. It can be propagated by stem cuttings or division of the roots.


Mint is one of the most popular herbs in the world. It is used for its refreshing flavor and its medicinal properties. There are several different types of mint, but one that has gained popularity in recent years is Tall Mint, also known as Mentha x smithiana.

Tall Mint is a hybrid of two different types of mint, Mentha arvensis and Mentha spicata. It is a perennial plant that can grow up to 2 meters tall, hence its name. The plant has an upright growth habit, with long stems and leaves that are a vibrant green color.

One of the most distinguishing features of Tall Mint is its strong, sweet aroma. The scent is similar to other types of mint, but with a hint of citrus. This aroma makes it a popular addition to teas, desserts, and other culinary creations.

In addition to its culinary uses, Tall Mint also has several medicinal properties. It is a natural source of menthol, which has a cooling effect on the body. This makes it an effective remedy for coughs, sore throats, and other respiratory ailments. It is also used to relieve headaches, nausea, and digestive issues.

Growing Tall Mint is relatively easy, as it thrives in a wide range of conditions. It prefers well-drained soil and partial shade, but can also tolerate full sun. It is a fast-growing plant, and can be propagated through cuttings or by dividing established plants.

Tall Mint is a versatile and useful herb that is well worth growing in your garden. Whether you use it for cooking, medicinal purposes, or simply to enjoy its sweet aroma, it is a plant that is sure to delight.

Tall Mint is believed to have originated in India, where it has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cooking. Today, it is grown in many other parts of the world, including Europe, North America, and Australia.

One of the benefits of growing Tall Mint is that it is a low-maintenance plant. It is resistant to pests and diseases, and requires little watering once established. However, it can spread quickly, so it is important to keep it contained in a pot or a designated area of the garden.

In cooking, Tall Mint is used in a variety of dishes. It pairs well with fruits, such as strawberries and watermelon, and can be used to flavor sauces and dressings. It is also a popular ingredient in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine, where it is used in dishes like tabbouleh and mint tea.

To use Tall Mint in cooking, simply harvest the leaves and chop them finely. You can also infuse the leaves in boiling water to make a tea, or crush them to release their essential oils for use in aromatherapy.

Tall Mint is not only valued for its culinary and medicinal uses, but it also has a number of other benefits. For example, it attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to the garden, making it a valuable addition for those interested in promoting biodiversity.

In addition, Tall Mint is a natural insect repellent. Its strong scent helps to keep pests like ants, fleas, and mosquitoes at bay. This makes it a great option for those who want to avoid using chemical insecticides in their garden or home.

Tall Mint also has a number of environmental benefits. It is a fast-growing plant that can help to prevent soil erosion, and its deep roots help to improve soil quality by breaking up hard soil and improving drainage. This makes it a good choice for areas prone to heavy rainfall or flooding.

In addition to its many benefits, Tall Mint has some potential drawbacks that should be considered before planting it in your garden. One of the main concerns is its potential to become invasive. Because it is a fast-growing plant that spreads quickly through runners, it can easily take over a garden if not kept in check.

To prevent Tall Mint from becoming invasive, it is important to plant it in a designated area and to regularly trim back the runners to prevent them from spreading too far. It is also a good idea to plant it in a pot to keep it contained, particularly if you have a small garden or are growing it indoors.

Another consideration is the potential for allergic reactions to Tall Mint. While it is generally considered safe for most people, some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions when coming into contact with the plant. If you have a known allergy to mint or other members of the Lamiaceae family, it is best to avoid Tall Mint altogether.

Despite these potential drawbacks, Tall Mint is a versatile and valuable plant that can provide many benefits to your garden, your health, and the environment. With proper care and management, it can be a valuable addition to any home or community garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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