New Zealand mint Mentha cunninghamii

Key Features

  • New Zealand mint is a perennial herb forming loose patches up to 300 mm across.
  • Stems are sparse to numerous, very slender, purple to purple-red, and usually much branched.
  • Leaves are bright green to yellow-green, 2-15 × 2-15 mm, broad-ovate to suborbicular, and smooth.
  • Flowers are axillary (between leaf or branch and stem), fragrant, and solitary or in clusters of 2-3.

Distribution and Habitat

  • North, South, Chatham and Stewart Islands
  • Coastal to alpine.
  • New Zealand mint is a sparse component of grassland and other open places such as cliffs, river banks, lake sides, grey scrub, occasionally in swampy ground.


  • Habitat modification by livestock, irrigation, and drainage.
  • Weed competition.

Management Opportunities

  • Survey for new locations.
  • Mark known sites.
  • Protection of habitat.
  • Ensure that forest owners are aware of potential habitats and can recognise the species.

Monitoring Options

  • Check existing populations annually.
  • Report new locations to DOC.

Further Information and Support

  • Weed control - Department of Conservation, Regional Councils.