Prostanthera 'Poorinda Ballerina'

Common Name: mintbush 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White to pale lilac with yellow throats
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Leaf: Fragrant, Evergreen
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer


Winter hardy to Mediterranean type climates in USDA Zones 8b-10. Tolerates occasional winter temperatures which dip to 18 degrees F. Performs well in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in sunny locations sheltered from strong winds, but appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Likes sandy soils. Prefers consistent soil moisture, but established plants have some tolerance for drought. Tip prune as needed after flowering to maintain attractive shrubby form. Propagate by tip cuttings in summer.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prostanthera is a genus consisting of about 100 species of evergreen shrubs, most of which are commonly called mint bush in recognition of the leaves being highly aromatic when touched or bruised. These shrubs are native to a variety of habitats in southeastern Australia and Tasmania including coastal areas, shrubby heathlands, dry forest, rainforest, plus some sub-alpine locations. Most species of this mint family member have opposite, highly aromatic leaves on square stems with an often profuse late spring to early summer bloom of tubular 2-lipped flowers (2 lobed upper lip and 3 lobed lower lip) most frequently appearing in colors of mauve, blue or purple but less commonly in white, red or yellow.

Genus name comes from the Greek name prostithemi meaning to append or add to, prosthema meaning appendage and anthera meaning anther in allusion to a spur-like appendage on the back of the anther.

‘Poorinda Ballerina’ is a hybrid cultivar that typically grows to 5’ tall and as wide. Prostanthera lasianthos is one of its parents. Narrow-elliptic, leathery, deep green leaves (to 2” long). White to pale lilac flowers with yellow throats bloom from late spring to early summer.


No known serious insect or disease problems.


Ornamental flowering shrub or garden specimen. Hedge. Site in areas along walkways where foliage aroma may be enjoyed by simply brushing an arm or hand against the leaves. Containers.