The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Mentha aquatica
Mentha aquatica
(water mint)

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Mentha aquatica L.

Common name: water mint

Synonyms and Other Names: Mentha citrata Ehrh., Mentha piperita spp. citrate (Ehrh.) Briq., Mentha X piperita var. citrate (Ehrh.) Briq, Mentha X piperi var. citrata (Ehrh.) B. Boivin (pro nm.), water mint, lemonmint

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Water mint is an herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant growing to 90 cm tall (Source: Wikipedia). The stems are square in cross section, green or purple, and variably hairy to almost hairless. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, and bear fibrous roots. The leaves are ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2–6 cm long and 1–4 cm broad, green (sometimes purplish), opposite, toothed, and vary from hairy to nearly hairless. The flowers are tiny, densely crowded, purple, tubular, and pinkish to lilac in color. All parts of the plant have a distinctly minty smell.

Size: to 90 cm

Native Range: Eurasia, northwest Africa and southwest Asia.

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Mentha aquatica are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA200820081California Region
CT200820081New England Region
GA200820081South Atlantic-Gulf Region
IL1843200820Cache; Chicago; Des Plaines; Embarras; Flint-Henderson; Lower Illinois; Lower Illinois; Lower Ohio-Bay; Lower Wabash; Middle Kaskaskia; Rock; Upper Fox; Upper Illinois; Upper Mississippi Region; Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau; Upper Mississippi-Kaskaskia-Meramec; Upper Mississippi-Meramec; Upper Sangamon; Vermilion; Wabash
IN1843200822Blue-Sinking; Driftwood; Eel; Eel; Kankakee; Lower East Fork White; Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon; Lower White; Middle Ohio-Laughery; Middle Wabash-Busseron; Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion; Ohio Region; Patoka-White; Silver-Little Kentucky; St. Joseph; Sugar; Tippecanoe; Upper White; Wabash; Wabash; Whitewater; Wildcat
ME200820081New England Region
MD200820081Mid Atlantic Region
MA200820081New England Region
MI1843200822Au Sable; Betsie-Platte; Black-Macatawa; Boardman-Charlevoix; Great Lakes Region; Keweenaw Peninsula; Lake Huron; Lone Lake-Ocqueoc; Manistee; Northeastern Lake Michigan; Northwestern Lake Huron; Pere Marquette-White; Saginaw; Southcentral Lake Superior; Southeastern Lake Michigan; Southwestern Lake Huron-Lake Huron; St. Clair; St. Clair-Detroit; St. Joseph; St. Marys; Upper Grand; Western Lake Erie
NJ200820081Mid-Atlantic Region
NY1843200821Cattaraugus; Chemung; Eastern Lake Erie; Hudson-Hoosic; Indian; Long Island; Lower Genesee; Lower Hudson; Lower Hudson; Middle Hudson; Northeastern Lake Ontario; Oak Orchard-Twelvemile; Oneida; Oswego; Rondout; Schoharie; Seneca; Southwestern Lake Ontario; Upper Delaware; Upper Susquehanna; Upper Susquehanna
OH1843200827Black-Rocky; Blanchard; Cedar-Portage; Cuyahoga; Hocking; Huron-Vermilion; Licking; Little Miami; Lower Great Miami, Indiana, Ohio; Lower Scioto; Mahoning; Middle Ohio; Middle Ohio-LittleMiami; Middle Ohio-Raccoon; Mohican; Ohio Brush-Whiteoak; Raccoon-Symmes; Sandusky; Scioto; Southern Lake Erie; Tuscarawas; Upper Great Miami, Indiana, Ohio; Upper Ohio; Upper Ohio-Wheeling; Upper Scioto; Walhonding; Western Lake Erie
OR200820081Pacific Northwest Region
PA1843200833Allegheny; Conemaugh; Connoquenessing; Conococheague-Opequon; Delaware; Lake Erie; Lehigh; Lower Delaware; Lower Juniata; Lower Monongahela; Lower Susquehanna; Lower Susquehanna; Lower Susquehanna-Penns; Lower Susquehanna-Swatara; Lower West Branch Susquehanna; Mahoning; Mid Atlantic Region; Middle Allegheny-Redbank; Middle Allegheny-Tionesta; Middle West Branch Susquehanna; Pine; Schuylkill; Sinnemahoning; Tioga; Upper Delaware; Upper Juniata; Upper Ohio; Upper Ohio-Beaver; Upper Ohio-Wheeling; Upper Susquehanna; Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna; Upper West Branch Susquehanna; West Branch Susquehanna
RI200820081New England Region
WA200820081Pacific Northwest Region
WI184320087Lake Superior; Northwestern Lake Michigan; Pecatonica; Rock; Upper Fox; Upper Mississippi Region; Wisconsin

Table last updated 7/21/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Ecology: Water mint occurs in the shallow margins and channels of streams, rivers, pools, dykes, ditches, canals, wet meadows, marshes and fens (Warren 1993). If the plant grows in the water itself, it rises above the surface of the water. It generally occurs on mildly acid to calcareous (it is common on soft limestone) mineral or peaty soils. Flowering is from mid-late summer. Water mint is pollinated by insects, and also spreads by underground rhizomes, like other species of mint.

Means of Introduction: Deliberate release.

Status: Established.

Remarks: It hybridises with Mentha spicata (Spearmint) to produce Mentha × piperita (Peppermint), a sterile hybrid; with Mentha suaveolens (Apple Mint) to produce Mentha × suavis; with Mentha arvensis (Corn Mint) to produce Mentha × verticillata; and with both M. arvensis and M. spicata to give the tri-species hybrid Mentha × smithiana.

References: (click for full references)

Al-Qura'n, S. 2007. Ethnobotany of Folk Medicinal Aquatic Plants in Jordan. Botanical Review 73(1): 51—65.

Atsbaha Zebelo, S., C.M. Bertea, S. Bossi, A. Occhipinti, G. Gnavi, and M. E. Maffei. 2011. Chrysolina herbacea modulates terpenoid biosynthesis of Mentha aquatica L. PLoS ONE 6(3).

Brown, M.L., and R.G. Brown. 1984. Herbaceous plants of Maryland. Port City Press, Inc., Baltimore.  

Al-Qura'n, S. 2007. Ethnobotany of Folk Medicinal Aquatic Plants in Jordan. Botanical Review 73(1): 51—65.

Atsbaha Zebelo, S., C.M. Bertea, S. Bossi, A. Occhipinti, G. Gnavi, and M. E. Maffei. 2011. Chrysolina herbacea modulates terpenoid biosynthesis of Mentha aquatica L. PLoS ONE 6(3).

Conforti, F., G. Joele, G.A. Statti, M. Marrelli, G. Rango, and F. Menichini. 2008. Antiproliferative activity against human tumor cell lines and toxicity test on Mediterranean dietary plants. Food and Chemical Toxicology 46(10): 3325—3332.

Falck, M. and S. Garske. 2003. Invasive Non-native Plant Management During 2002. Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), Odanah, WI. 68 pp.

Gobert, V., S. Moja, M. Colson, and P. Taberlet. 2002. Hybridization in the Section Mentha (Lamiaceae) Inferred from AFLP Markers. American Journal of Botany 89(12): 2017—2023.

López, V., S. Martín, M.P. Gómez-Serranillos, M.E. Carretero, A.K. Jäger, and M. I. Calvo. 2010. Neuroprotective and neurochemical properties of mint extracts. Phytotherapy Research 24(6): 869—874.

Midwest Invasives Species Information Network (MISIN) and Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI). 2013. Gingermint (Mentha x gracilis). Available http://www.misin.msu.edu/facts/detail.php?id=96. Accessed 6 May 2013.

Mimica-Dukic, N., B. Bozin, M. Sokovic, B. Mihajlovic, and M. Matavulj. 2003. Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of three Mentha species essential oils. Planta Medica 69(5): 413—419.

Mitchell, R.S. (ed.). 1986. A checklist of New York State plants. Contributions of a Flora of New York State, Checklist III. New York State Bulletin No. 458. New York State Museum, Albany.

Ohio State University. 2012. Plants of the Week: Vegetable - Mint (Mentha spp.). Buckeye Yard& Garden onLine. Available http://bygl.osu.edu/content/vegetable-mint-mentha-spp. Accessed 6 May 2013.

Saygideger, S. and M. Dogan. 2005. Influence of pH on lead uptake, chlorophyll and nitrogen content of Nasturtium officinale R. Br. and Mentha aquatica L. Journal of Environmental Biology 26(4): 753—759.

Warren, P. H. 1993. Insect Herbivory on Water Mint: You Can't Get There from Here? Ecography 16(1): 11—15.

Other Resources:
USDA/NRCS PLANTS Database Wikipedia - Mentha aquatica. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_aquatica. Accessed on 08/20/2008.  

Author: Cao, L, and L. Berent

Revision Date: 8/16/2019

Citation Information:
Cao, L, and L. Berent, 2024, Mentha aquatica L.: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2668, Revision Date: 8/16/2019, Access Date: 7/21/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/21/2024].

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