African Potato Mint

Plectranthus rotundifolius


African Potato Mint is a perennial herbaceous plant of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is native to tropical Africa. It is cultivated not for it's leaves as most mints, but for its edible tubers. Its cultivation has been largely displaced by the spread of cassava, which was introduced by the Portuguese to Africa from South America about 500 years ago. It is mentioned extensively in the "Lost Crops of Africa."

The African Potato Mint makes a perfect ground cover and does well in areas that are prone to drought. This rare and fascinating mint family plant produces edible tubers that are much like a white potato in flavor and texture. African potato mint is very hardy and tolerant to at least zone 9. It does go dormant during the coldest months but regrows from the tubers when warmth returns. Tubers are from pea sized to potentially a little bigger than egg. More space yields more larger tubers but they do survive easily in even small pots long term. Great permaculture perennial species! Drought tolerant but water enough to establish through its first season. Hardy to 28 degrees F.

This listing is for 4-5 live tubers for planting. The tubers being sold are from pea sized to marble sized or slightly larger or smaller.

If planting in the ground, check your weather forecast to ensure frost or freezing temperatures have passed for the year. Potting up into a larger pot can be done at any time. When kept in a container, allow soil to dry out between watering and keep well drained soil & pot. In the landscape, well drained sandy to loam soil works well.

This variety is selected and maintained by Florida seed steward Mark Homesteader of Homestead Heirloom Gardens.

African Potato Mint


    © 2020 The Roughwood Table. All photos, unless noted, and recipes/text are ©  Roughwood Table.

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