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Sharp-leaved Mint

Mentha x villosonervata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, wasteland.

Pink, 4 petals
Small pale pinkish-purple flower in whorled clusters up the stem. The clusters are situated around the leaf axils.
The fruit is a small, dry capsule containing up to 4 seeds.
Greyish-green, oval to oblong leaves with very sharply toothed margins. The leaves are in opposite pairs up the erect, softly hairy stem. A hybrid between Spearmint (Mentha spicata) and Horse Mint (Mentha longifolia). Frequently encountered in gardens or as a garden throw-out species. A downy plant.
Smells of mint.
Other Names:
Sharp-toothed Mint, Woolly Mint.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Mentha x villosonervata is a hybrid mint plant that is a cross between Mentha aquatica and Mentha longifolia. It is also known as "woolly mint" due to its hairy leaves. This mint is commonly used in culinary and medicinal applications, and has a unique aroma. 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.


Sharp-leaved mint, scientifically known as Mentha x villosonervata, is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. This plant is a hybrid of two other mint species, Mentha aquatica and Mentha arvensis, and is known for its distinctive sharp leaves and pleasant fragrance.

The plant is native to Europe and Asia, and it is widely cultivated for its medicinal and culinary uses. Sharp-leaved mint grows to a height of 50-60 cm and has erect, branching stems that are covered with fine hairs. The leaves are oblong-ovate in shape, with sharply serrated edges and a dark green color.

Sharp-leaved mint produces small white or pink flowers that bloom from late summer to early fall. The plant thrives in moist soils and can grow in partial shade to full sun. It is also tolerant of cold temperatures and can survive harsh winters.

Culinary uses

Sharp-leaved mint is commonly used as a culinary herb, and it adds a refreshing flavor to many dishes. The leaves can be used fresh or dried and are commonly used in teas, salads, sauces, and meat dishes. The sharp flavor of the leaves makes them a popular choice in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

Medicinal uses

Sharp-leaved mint has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb due to its many health benefits. It is rich in essential oils, including menthol, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Sharp-leaved mint is commonly used to treat digestive problems, including bloating, gas, and indigestion. It is also used to treat respiratory problems, such as coughs, colds, and asthma. The plant has been shown to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it an effective treatment for skin infections and wounds.

Sharp-leaved mint is a versatile herb that can be used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Its sharp flavor and refreshing fragrance make it a popular choice in many dishes, while its health benefits make it an effective natural remedy for a variety of ailments. If you are interested in growing your own sharp-leaved mint, it is relatively easy to cultivate and can be a great addition to any herb garden.

More Information

Sharp-leaved mint is a low-maintenance plant that can grow in a variety of soil types, as long as they are moist and well-drained. It can be propagated through seeds or stem cuttings, and it is recommended to plant it in the spring or fall.

Aside from its culinary and medicinal uses, sharp-leaved mint is also known for its cosmetic benefits. The essential oil found in the plant is often used in skincare products for its soothing and cooling properties. It is believed to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote healthy skin.

In addition, sharp-leaved mint is often used in aromatherapy due to its calming and refreshing fragrance. It is believed to help reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote relaxation.

While sharp-leaved mint is generally safe to consume in small amounts, it is important to note that some people may be allergic to the plant. If you have a history of allergies to other plants in the mint family, it is recommended to avoid sharp-leaved mint. Additionally, pregnant women should consult with their healthcare provider before using the plant for medicinal purposes.

One interesting aspect of sharp-leaved mint is its history and cultural significance. Mint has been used by humans for thousands of years, and it has played an important role in many cultures throughout history. In ancient Greece, mint was considered a symbol of hospitality and was often used to flavor wine and other beverages. In ancient Rome, mint was used for its medicinal properties and was believed to improve digestion and relieve headaches.

In traditional Chinese medicine, mint has been used for centuries to treat digestive problems, colds, and other ailments. It is believed to have a cooling effect on the body and to help regulate the flow of qi, or life energy.

Today, sharp-leaved mint is still widely used in many cultures around the world. In the United States, it is a popular ingredient in gum, candy, and other confections. In the Middle East, mint tea is a common beverage, and the herb is often used to flavor savory dishes. In India, mint chutney is a popular condiment, and the herb is also used to flavor yogurt drinks and desserts.

Overall, sharp-leaved mint is a fascinating and beneficial plant that has played an important role in many cultures throughout history. Whether you are using it for culinary or medicinal purposes, or simply enjoying its refreshing fragrance, this plant is a valuable addition to any home or garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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