Prostanthera cuneata

Douglas Justice contributes today’s photo. He writes:

For years, we considered this evergreen mint relative to be–like so many Australian shrubs–only marginally hardy in the Vancouver area. Various sources list its cold hardiness as USDA Zone 9. Nevertheless, this specimen is located in a fairly exposed position in the Australasian section of the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden and has been growing there since 2001. It has seen both mild (i.e., exceptionally wet) and severe winters, with and without snow cover. The species is both highly aromatic and long flowering.

The Australian National Botanic Gardens has a very good webpage describing Prostanthera cuneata. As well as being somewhat tender, the ANBG write-up mentions that Prostanthera cuneata is “…susceptible to root pathogens, such as Phytophthora cinnamomi and may be short lived in cultivation. This may be alleviated through the purchase of tougher clones, which are now available.” Unfortunately the provenance of the Garden’s thriving plants is unknown. The accession came to us from an anonymous garden visitor.

Prostanthera cuneata

16 responses to “Prostanthera cuneata”

  1. martha/all the dirt

    What a beauty.
    Hardy in Vancouver? It should also be hardy in my zone 7 garden, then.
    Hmmm. Wonder where a person could find one to own and grow?

  2. luise h.

    The flowers almost look like orchids. What a beauty.
    Another one for the “wishlist”

  3. Ken

    These are a beautiful site in our alpine areas in summer, completely covered in white flowers. There must be some other white varieties because their distribution map doesn’t show some areas to the north. The non-alpine versions are similar shrubs except with purple flowers.

  4. Terry M.

    Even hardy for us, with the Fraser valley outflow winds. A very tough little evergreen, drought tolerant and very easy in full sun.

  5. John Dove

    I have had a specimen of this Australian shrub in my garden for ten or twelve years and apart from some minor winter dieback of smaller branches it has done extremely well. My seaside property is on the southwest coast of Texada Island about sixty miles north of Vancouver, BC.
    In recent years I have seen it for sale on Vancouver Island a few times. This mintbush is an excellent small evergreen for coastal gardens that with me often flowers twice a season and year round offers wonderfully scented foliage.

  6. Douglas Justice

    Nice to hear from you John. Knowing that you have years of experience with deer browsing preferences, would you consider this species deer-proof?

  7. Rebecca

    Xera sells it in the Pacific NW ( Though, it perished in my Portland garden last year.

  8. wendy

    This valiant little plant has survived the last five winters here in Germany (NRW). It flowers through the summer but the flowers are so small I often catch myself heading their way to clear away what fom a distance I have mistaken for bits of paper.

  9. Steve McNamara

    This plant has survived our recent hard winter at Branklyn in Perth, Scotland. We had minus -16C and over a month of snow cover.

  10. Jane

    I really like the foliage. The lovely flowers are a bonus!

  11. John Dove

    Nice to hear from you John. Knowing that you have years of experience with deer browsing preferences, would you consider this species deer-proof?
    Posted by: Douglas Justice at July 6, 2010 7:27 PM
    In my experience this is highly deer resistant. The scent in the foliage that I find quite delightful seems to be most unpleasant for the deer which visit my garden daily.

  12. Robin

    Great to see one of our Aussie favourites producing such lovely flowers in Vancouver.

  13. kate

    No problem in my Portland, Oregon (Z 7b) garden – it survived at least six years in a previous garden and it has thrived perfectly – even through last winter – in my current garden. It’s about 5 years old. I’d call it pretty darned cold-hardy!

  14. ultrasound technician

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  15. Derek Williams

    I have had 2 of these shrubs in my garden in the North of England for 6 or 7 years and have only just dicovered it’s name. This year they survived the worst winter in the UK for probably 30 years. It is a delightful evergreen and is stunning when in flower, which is does twice a year, May/June and Aug/Sep. The fragrance is powerful and it is easy to propogate.

  16. Alison

    Beautiful photo of a beautiful plant. I, too, like Derek, have only just discovered its name from some really helpful garden centre staff.
    I live in southern England and my prostranthera survives on poor soil in a north-facing border, and up to now, has been pretty much neglected.
    When I first looked closely at its flowers i was amazed by their beauty and I now want to look after it better, and, if posssible, grow cuttings from it

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