P.lasianthos.JPG (31913 bytes)Prostanthera lasianthos: is a member of the Lamiaceae family in company with the Westringias and culinary mints. Its common name is Victorian Christmas Bush. From this name we may glean two facts: firstly that the species occurs in Victoria and secondly that the main flowering period is in December. The Victorian Christmas Bush is also native to Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

Prostanthera lasianthos is a variable shrub or small tree. The leaves vary, in shape, from lanceolate to ovate and are strongly aromatic. The flowers are carried in sprays and are usually white although there are also mauve and pink flowering forms.

New South Wales is home to a number of variants. In New England National Park, east of Armidale, there is a form that has smooth, glossy, aromatic leaves. Further west, towards Armidale, there is a variant that grows in the gorge country. Most of this population is protected in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. This variant has narrow leaves that are very aromatic. The foliage is somewhat sparser than the New England National Park variant. Both forms have white flowers. There is also a small population around Apsley Falls that has a pink tinge to the flowers. The form illustrated is from New England National Park.

A cultivar known as “Mint Ice” has variegated foliage and there is a pink flowered form from Victoria known as “Kallista Pink”.

We suspect that each variant has a slightly different foliage perfume. This has yet to be proved nasally.

Prostanthera lasianthos is one of the parents of Prostanthera Ballerina a well-known hybrid.

All variants could be cultivated as “stand alone” specimens or incorporated in an informal native hedge.

Prostanthera lasianthos propagates with ease from cuttings.