Water mint - Mentha aquatica - Western Isles Pink Wildflowers

Watermint - Western Isles Wildflowers

Water Mint - Purple Western Isles Flowers
These lovely purple flowers adorn the long stems throughout July to October in The Western Isles of Scotland. They are to be seen around streams and anywhere there is really damp boggy marshy land.

Flowers July - October

These pretty purple wildflowers belonging to the Lamiaceae or mint family - also called Labiatae are quite common here in the Western Isles as indeed they are throughout Scotland and the UK. the pink - mauve flower heads show themselves from July through to October.

Near Streams and marshes
The very pretty purple mauve wildflowers can be seen in very very damp places, beside streams or marshes, ditches and boggy areas. Its readily recognisable as a mint and can be identified as water mint by its relatively large size, growing up to 3ft in height and also by its whorls of closely set flowers making the rounded head shape at the top of each stem.

Lovely Smell - Pollinated by many Insects
The plant which is a perennial herb has a lovely smell emerging from its lilac flowers which many insects, particularly the bees, love and create pollination.

Leaves and Stems of Water Mint
Water Mint has a stem with square cross-section, and opposite pairs of leaves alternating at 90 degrees to the pair above or below on the stem. The oval, toothed leaves are attached to the stem by a short stalk.

The leaves have 4-6 arched veins. The stems and leaves can have purple coloration on them especially in the earlier part of their growing season. The upright stems can be either very nearly hairless or alternatively you can see some that are very hairy, covered in soft, downy hairs. The leaf margins may also be hairy.

The Plant - Water Mint - Used for Digestive Problems
It has been used in a similar way to calm digestive disorders, flatulence and nausea.

Smelling Salts - Water Mint
Water Mint was also use in smelling salts, the water mint has a distinctive chocolate mint aroma



Smell Masked the Smell of Death
In Greece, long ago this plant was mixed with Rosemary and Myrtle and used to disguise the smell of death.

The Romans were also said to have used water mint in flower bouquets at banquet halls in order to repel mice and vermin.

Folklore - Pluto - his wife seeked Revenge - Used Water Mint
Folklore has it that Pluto lord of the Underworld, fell in love with the nymph Minte (also called Menthe).

His wife Persephone in a very bad rage is said to have transformed Minte into the lowly plant which would be trampled underfoot by all.

Pluto is then reputed to have given the plant its sweetness so that at least the plant would console his loss.

 


Click pictures below for larger photographs

 

Dandruff Cure in Medieval Times
Mentha aquatica - otherwise known as Chocolate Mint was simmered in vinegar to treat dandruff in the Medieval Era



Teas - Astringent - Sunburn - Headaches
Over the different ages watermint has been used in teas, in mouthwashes, for kin complaints, and in toiletries as well as for alleviating nausea and headaches and to help protect against rheumatism. In the middle ages people scented their baths with watermint.


Watermint at Luskentyre
Kindney Vetch - Hebrides Wildflowers

Greek Mythology and Hospitality comes from a Dinner for Zeus and Hermes
Greek mythology has it that two strangers walked into a small village and all the villagers ignored them - offering them no hospitality, however one lovely elderly couple, Philemon and Baucis, offered them a meal and before seating them at the table.

The couple rubbed the table with water mint leaves to clean and freshen it. The strangers were actually the gods Zeus and Hermes in disguise.

As a reward for the hospitality Philemon and Baucis had offered them, the gods turned their humble home into a temple. Mint thus became the symbol of hospitality.


New Testament & Hebrews
Mint is mentioned in the New Testament - "tithes of mint" and was also valued by the ancient Hebrews

Kidney Vetch Hebrides Flora
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