Prostanthera hindii

Mint Bush

Family: Lamiaceae

An erect shrub growing to 1 metre tall by 1 metre wide. Branchlets are densely hairy and densely glandular, square to rhombic.

It occurs mainly in Wollemi National Park and Rylstone district in New South Wales (central tablelands subdivisions and north into the central western slopes).

It is grows in dry sclerophyll shrubland and woodland, on shallow sandy soils, in crevices and on slopes with rocky sandstone platforms and outcrops.

Prostanthera have simple, opposite and usually odorous leaves. In this species, leaves are dark green above, paler below, almost glabrous, ovate to narrow-ovate, to 25 mm long and to 8 mm wide, on a petiole to 2 mm long.

Flowers have a shape described as labiate (applies to all Lamiaceae flowers) with 5 petals varying in their size, fused at their base, produced in leaf axils.
One of the identification features for Prostanthera is that the 5 calyx parts (basal whorl of the flower) are fused into 2 lips.

In this species, flowers are arranged in single leafy raceme-like groups in upper leaf axils, consisting of four to ten flowers with attached bracteoles to 6 mm long at the base. The sepals are maroon and form a tube to 3 mm wide with two lobes. The petals are to 15 mm long, fused into a tube for about half their length, mauve in colour with deep mauve to dark purple colouration inside the tube; occurring mainly from spring to early summer

Fruits – 4 tiny nutlets (mericarps) produced at the base of the calyx.

In the garden

This species is not very well known in cultivation and any sources selling this species cannot be found.

If plants could be sourced, it likely needs a well-drained sandy soil to do its best. Give a partially shady spot and tip prune after flowering to promote density, form and flowers. Could be tried in a pot.

A Prostanthera in full bloom is a magnificent sight and there are so many colours to choose from for your garden. These plants are found in all states in varied soil conditions and climate and thus while it may be a challenge to grow some species many are easy in a garden situation.

A few basic growing tips are:

• Good drainage is essential. Raised beds ensure this
• Water new plants until established, weekly or as required.
• Do not over water, as this can induce root rot and fungal infestation.
• They prefer moist root runs.
• Plant drooping is an indicator of dryness

Positioning of prostantheras as border plants or near pathways is recommended as the mint odour is released when brushed against.


Plants may be grown from fresh seed. However, cuttings are frequently and reliably used, usually semi-hard wood or soft tip material, which strike well in spring or autumn.

Other information

Prostanthera is a diverse group of about 100 species, endemic to Australia, occurring in all states. There are still many unresolved taxa and species complexes, with new forms regularly being found. Natural hybrids occur between several species and most species appear to be capable of hybridizing when in cultivation. NSW currently has about 52 species, some of which are species-complex and others which are threatened with extinction.

Some 80% of mints contain aromatic oils within their leaves with oil of cineole being a major component. Prostanthera sieberi, P. incisa and P. staurophylla are quite pleasantly overpowering in their exudates when crushed. Oil from the leaves of some species is distilled for use in cosmetics and as soap additives.

Likely regenerates from seed after fire, possibly after 12 months. Most Prostanthera will regenerate from seed after fire with some species exhibiting an ability to reshoot from basal areas and stem buds. The exact response for this species is unknown.

Oil from the leaves of some species is distilled for use in cosmetics and as soap additives.

Prostanthera – from the Greek prosthike (προσθήκη) which translates to “addendum”, and anthir (ανθήρ) meaning anther – referring to the anthers which have an appendage of tissue.

hindii – honours botanist Peter Hind (1947 – ) who, with Barry Conn (an Australian botanist and Prostanthera expert), collected the type material.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Prostanthera hindii profile page      https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Prostanthera~hindii

Australia Native Plants Society Australia – Prostanthera – The Mint Bushes Information Page http://anpsa.org.au/APOL2007/apr07-1.html

Wikipedia – Prostanthera hindii profile page                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostanthera_hindii

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.