If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

17 August, 2016

Water Mint: pick me up



When walking by a pond or a slow moving river you will almost certainly encounter water mint (Mentha aquatica). It grows anywhere there is fresh water, indeed, anywhere the ground is usually damp. It is very common in Dorset where its preferred habitat exists flowering from July right through until October.
It is easy to identify this species as being mint, just take a leaf and have a sniff, all that is missing is the roast lamb! Water mint has this purple tinged green in the leaves like many of the labiate (or mint) family. The flowers are pale mauve and are formed around the top of the stem.
The leaves of water mint can be dried and used to make a herbal tea while the plant contains a chemical known for its beneficial properties in the treatment of deprerssion. So, if you are feeling down why not have a nice cuppa?
Water Mint: pick me up