Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Mentha x piperita
L., Lamiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Mentha citrata Ehrh.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: la bo he

English: mint, peppermint

Spanish: hierba buena, menta

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Rhizomatous perennial herb, the stems glabrous to sparsely pubescent, often purplish; leaves variable, petiolate, the blades 1-6 x 1-3.5 cm, lanceolate-elliptic to oblong-ovate, ovate, or suborbicular, somewhat rugose, cuneate to rounded or cordate at base, sharply acute to apiculate at apex, serrate at margin, pubescent to glabrous; inflorescences spicate to subcapitate, the terminal verticils congested, the basal ones more distant, mostly glabrous except on calyces; calyx 3-4 mm long, tubular, purple and dotted with oil glands, the teeth subequal, ciliate, narrowly acuminate, much shorter than calyx tube at anthesis; corolla 5-6 mm long, glabrous, the tube exserted; stamens small, included; nutlets mostly absent (plants sterile)" (Smith, 1991; p. 234).

Habitat/ecology:  "Commonly escaped from cultivation in the temperate parts of the world, occurring along roadsides, streams, and margins of woods, and as a weed in poorly kept fields" (Wiggins & Porter, 1971; pp. 405-406). In Victoria, Australia, naturalized in riparian vegetation and damp sclerophyll forest (Swarbrick & Skarratt, 1994, cited in Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 179).

Propagation:  Seed and rhizomes. The seeds are dispersed by water. (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 179).

Native range:  "Indigenous in Europe and now widespread in cultivation" (Smith, 1991; p. 234).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 9)
"A garden escape, preferring wet habitats". Vouchers cited: P. Ralston 1 (A), P.S. Green 2417 (K), P.S. Green 2443 (K), W.R. Sykes NI 506 (CHR)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santiago Group
Santiago Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Satawan Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 241)
Cult.?
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (p. 234)
Voucher cited: DA 16767
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 62)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
var. citrata (J.F. Ehrhart) J.I. Briquet
Cultivée
Kiribati
Kiribati
Kiribati (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R. (1987) (p. 41)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 157)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 179)
Victoria
Isolated naturalized populations
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 234)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Beijing Shi, Nanjing Shi, and other cities.
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 188)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 779)
"Streams, rivers, drains and lakes, particularly in still or slow-flowing water. Plants of peppermint are often submerged or partly so and may form dense stands".

Comments:  "Widely cultivated & naturalized" (GRIN).

Additional information:
Additional online information about Mentha x piperita is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Mentha x piperita as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Mentha x piperita may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Charles Darwin Foundation. 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos, Ecuador.

Charles Darwin Research Station. 2005. CDRS Herbarium records.

Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. 1998. Potential environmental weeds in Australia: Candidate species for preventative control. Canberra, Australia. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. 208 pp.

Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP). (online resource).

Fosberg, F. R. 1997. Preliminary checklist of the flowering plants and ferns of the Society Islands. Ed. by David R. Stoddart. U. Cal. Berkeley.

Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce. 1979. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian dicotyledonae. Micronesica 15:1-295.

Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. John Wiley & Sons, New York. 391 pp.

Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro. 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research 8(2)/2004: 171-191.

Orchard, Anthony E., ed. 1994. Flora of Australia. Vol. 49, Oceanic islands 1. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

Smith, Albert C. 1991. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Volume 5. 626 pp.

Thaman, R. R. 1987. Plants of Kiribati: a listing and analysis of vernacular names. Atoll Res. Bull. 296:1-42.

Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. 1994. The flora of Nauru. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. Atoll Research Bulletin 392:1-223.

Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. 1988. Flora of New Zealand, Volume IV: Naturalised pteridophytes, gymnosperms, dicotyledons. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch. 1365 pp.

Wiggins, I. L./Porter, D. M. 1971. Flora of the Galapágos Islands. Stanford University Press. 998 pp.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 22 JUN 2004 and was last updated on 8 DEC 2006.