Mint Bush

Description

Common names

Mint Bush, Victorian Christmas Bush, Christmas Bush, Mint Tree, Mountain Lilac.

Scientific names

Prostanthera lasianthos.

Family

Lamiaceae.

Genus

Prostanthera.

Name origin

Prostanthera, from Greek prostheke, appendage, and enthera, anther, alluding to spur-like anther appendage. Lasianthos, from Greek lasios, woolly, and anthera, anther, referring to woolly anthers.

Rainfall

800mm+.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

1-6m.

Presence in Australia

Noted in the areas Bowna-Jindera; Yambla and Upper Gilmore. Probably also in similar country in surrounding areas.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, WA.

Habitat

Rainforest, sclerophyll forest and subalpine woodland, mainly along watercourses and moist gullies.

Habit

Shrub to small tree, usually 1-6m high. Bushy crown of aromatic leaves 4-12cm long.

Site preference

Moist, well-drained soil in shady areas. Tolerates frost.

Characteristics

Fast-growing.

Flowering

White to pale-mauve with purple spots, Nov-Mar.

Seed collection

Early to late Jan. Monitor closely as seeds shed immediately or 1-2 days after maturity.

Propagation

From cuttings of short laterals with heels, Feb to July, or from fresh seed which may give erratic results. Cuttings may be slow to strike. Mist may rot cuttings.

Regeneration

From seed.

Timber

Hard and tough. Saplings used for fishing rods.

Wildlife

Flowers food for native bees and wasps.

Ornamental

Attractive ornamental. Spectacular in flower. Useful screen, although requires protection from strong wind. Benefits from mulching, summer watering and pruning after flowering.