Not long after making my garden pond earlier this year I planted Water Mint on the margin. It is a strong-smelling mint with large flowerheads comprising of two-lipped lilac-pink petals and crimson sepals. The stems are reddish and hairy with leaves which are oval and coarsely toothed, and often have a reddish tinge. The flowers can grow up to 6mm long, and the plant up to 1m tall.
It flowers July to September. In the wild it is found at the edge of ponds, pools, ditches and lakes, often growing in the water. It is also marshes, swamps, and similar freshwater habitats. A native species, widespread and common throughout.
The flowers are a good source of nectar for insects, and the leaves a good food source for caterpillars. The plant also has various medicinal properties and culinary uses.
Photograph of Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) taken August 2016, rear garden pond , Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.