Prostanthera spinosa F.Muell.

Spiny Mint-bush

Defin. Austral. Pl. 15 ; Trans. Philos. Soc. Victoria 1: 48 (1855)

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: rare (r)

Spreading to erect shrub 0.2–2 m high, aromatic; branches with sparse to moderately dense antrorse to spreading-antrorse hairs, usually over a layer of much shorter antrorse hairs, rarely subglabrous except at nodes, sparsely glandular, with regular decussate spines 6–16 mm long. Leaves narrowly ovate to elliptic or trullate, 1.5–6(–8) mm long, 1–3(–4) mm wide, light to dark green, paler below, glabrous or with a few stiff spreading hairs on midrib below, rarely moderately densely hispid, copiously covered with subsessile glands below, base acute to subobtuse, margin entire, sometimes slightly recurved, apex obtuse; petiole 0.4–1 mm long. Flowers appearing axillary; bracteoles persistent, 0.9–2 mm long, 0.2–0.3 mm wide. Calyx 3.5–5 mm long, tube 2–3 mm long, adaxial lobe 1.5–2(–2.5) mm long (not enlarged in fruit); corolla pale mauve or pale lilac to white, orange-brown dotted or streaked in throat on lower lip, 8–14 mm long; anther appendage c. 1–1.5 mm long. Flowers Jul.–Dec.

DunT, GipP, GGr, LoM, VVP. Also SA, NSW. In Victoria confined to, but locally common on, skeletal sandy soils of rocky areas in northern and western areas of the Grampians.

Willis (1973, p. 588) referred to an entity apparently restricted to the Cultivation Creek area in the western Grampians. This is a hybrid between P. lasianthos and P. spinosa which forms a sprawling shrub to 6 m wide, 1 m high, with weakly spinose branches, leaves ovate to spathulate, 4–20 mm long, 2–9 mm wide, weakly toothed, and the flowers solitary in axils.

Source: Conn, B.J. (1999). Lamiaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2017-06-01
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Lamiales
family Lamiaceae
genus Prostanthera
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Prostanthera spinosa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Prostanthera spinosa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory