Mentha requienii

Common Name: Corsican mint 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Sardinia, Montecristo, Corsica
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 0.00 to 0.25 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Lilac
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy

Culture

Best grown in rich, light, moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Tolerates shady garden areas. Adapts to a wide range of soils except dry ones. Intolerant of drought. Tolerates limited foot traffic. Starter plants are typically planted 6-10" apart. Propagation is usually done by division. Freely self-seeds in optimum growing conditions. Plants are winter hardy to USDA Zone 6, but may be grown as annuals north of Zone 6 with plants continuing to appear in the garden for several years by self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Mentha requienii, commonly called Corsican mint or creeping mint, is a miniature mat-forming plant that typically grows to only 1/2" to 1" tall but spreads by thread-like stems which creep along the ground rooting as they go to 12" wide or more to form a dense flat diminutive ground cover. It is particularly effective as an aromatic filler growing around stepping stones where light foot traffic will release a pleasing mint/sage aroma. Leaves are evergreen in mild winter climates but not in St. Louis. This mint is native to the Islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Montecristo. Tiny round green leaves (to 1/8" across) have a strong aroma when bruised. Leaves are the source of the flavoring in creme-de-menthe. Tiny minute lilac flowers bloom from the leaf axils in summer (late June -August). Flowers are so small they are often not seen.

Genus name comes from Minthe or Menthe, a water nymph in Greek mythology, who was transformed by Persephone into a mint plant in revenge for Minthe's ongoing affair with Hades (husband of Persephone).

Specific epithet honors Esprit Requien (1788-1851), naturalist and student of the flora of southern France and Corsica.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Can be somewhat invasive but is usually easy to control.

Garden Uses

Plant between paving/stepping stones or patio blocks in moist part-shade areas. Herb gardens. Rock gardens. Containers (especially when it drapes over the side of the container). Leaves may be used to flavor teas, in salads, in cooked foods or as a garnish.