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.
There have been a number of “Poorinda” cultivars released into cultivation. Mainly grevilleas, they originated on the property of the late Leo Hodge, north-eastern Victoria. Prostanthera “Poorinda Ballerina” is a small shrub to about 1.5 metres high. The leaves are about 10mm long and “trowel”-shaped. The flowers are white with a yellow throat and flowering is usually prolific with the flowers almost obscuring the foliage.
“Poorinda Ballerina” is quick growing and, like most mist bushes, should be pruned back annually by about one third to help promote a bushy shape. It is hardier than many other mint bushes and prefers a moist, well drained position with some shelter from direct summer sun.
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.
Prostanthera ‘Poorinda Ballerina’
Photo: Brian Walters