Prostanthera rotundifolia

Distribution Map
Family: Lamiaceae
Distribution: New South Wales, Victoria Tasmania and South Australia.
Common Name: Round-leaved Mint Bush
Derivation of Name: Prostanthera...from Greek prostheke; an appendix and anthera; an anther, referring to the appendage on the stamens
rotundifolia...referring to the shape of the leaves
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Prostanthera is a genus of about 90 species which occur only in Australia. They are known generally as "mint bushes" because of the aromatic foliage of many species. As a member of the Lamiaceae, Prostanthera is related to a number of culinary herbs such as mint, thyme, oregano and sage.

Prostanthera rotundifolia
Prostanthera rotundifolia
Photo: Brian Walters

Prostanthera rotundifolia - Pink Form
A pink flowered form of Prostanthera rotundifolia
Photo: Brian Walters

Prostanthera rotundifolia may reach 1.5 metres high by a similar spread. Flowers are generally purple in colour and are prolific in spring. Pink flowered forms are sometimes seen. It is one of the hardier members of the genus, is quick growing and should be pruned back annually by about one third if a bushy shape is to be retained. Like most prostantheras it prefers a well drained, moist position with some shelter from direct summer sun. Under dry conditions it will wilt noticeably but quickly recovers when watered. It is a good "indicator" of when watering is required in a garden generally.

Prostantheras respond to well to annual fertilising after flowering and are not as sensitive as some other Australian plants to phosphorus.

Propagation is easy from cuttings but seed can be slow to germinate. In areas where the root-rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi is a problem, grafting onto the related Westringia fruticosa is recommended.

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