Types of mint plants

Plants are the most robust and oldest forms living organisms on the earth.

The earth is called a green planet due to the plants on it.

There are different types of plants based on their habitat, regions and climates.

They can be classified based on many factors like their life span, physical appearance, reproduction, presence of flowers, habits, food requirement, etc.

But taxonomical classification of plant relies on specific features which run through a set of plants.

This botanical classification is more precise to read for academics but for knowledge purposes we can see them more differently.

Different types of plants are

1. Based on age or life span: Plants are the longest living creatures on the earth. Some of them live for even 1000 to 5000 years are more. But not all plants live the same age. Some of them even die within months. So plants are differentiated based on their live span as

Ephemerals:

Sanguinaria/ blood root

These are the plants with short life span. They live for only few weeks.

They germinate, grow, reproduce and die within few weeks.

Ex; Sanguinaria.

These are present even in deserts

Annual plants:

These plants survive for a year or less.

Ex; cotton, wheat.

Most of the agriculture crop plants come under this category.

Biennial plants: These plants survive for two years at most. Ex: Carrot

Perennial plants. These plants grow for many years. Their actual age is not fixed. Some are either cut off or broken due to winds etc. If not they live for hundreds of years.

Ex: Neem, banyan, mango, etc.

2. Based on where they grow: The plants can also be differentiated based on places where they grow. They are quite interesting like

a. Mesophytes– These are land plants which grow at the normal land condition with sufficient water in the soil to live.

These are the plants which we see around us every day.

They can be big trees, shrubs, bushes, plantains, etc.

b. Hydrophytes:

As the name indicates these plants grow only in water

Ex: Lotus.

Water plants live in water whole life.

They germinate, grow and survive in water.

They cannot survive in the plain soil.

c. Xerophytes: These are plants which grow in desert areas with very low water availability and heat temperatures. They can survive in drought conditions like the desert. Ex: Cactus.

They live in dry areas so-called “xerophytes” as xero- dry + phyto- plant. These plants save water for use in drought in leaves or stems.

So their leaves or stems are succulent i.e., a bid bulged and soft. When squeezed you can find a paste like liquid oozing out. Further, the leaves have thorns which are meant to prevent animals from grazing on them.

d. Epiphytes: Epiphyte is a plant that grows on the surface of other plants. Ex: Fern, mosses, etc. These plants are not parasites but survive on other big and tall-growing trees.

The reason is in dense forests these plants will be deprived of sunlight on the land due to other big trees shading them. So when they grow on other plants, they can overcome this. They can get the sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis. They grow on other plants so epiphytes as EPI– above (top) PHYTO– plant.

3. Based on physical size: Have you noticed? Not all plants are of the same size. Some are tiny while some are very gigantic. Based on this physical size, there are different types of plants.

  • Herbs: Small plants with a height in few centimeeres or a foot. Ex: grasses.
  • Shrubs: These are quite bigger than herbs, till a meter or more Ex: Basil plant
  • Trees: These are gigantic plants. They grow upto few meters in height and also live for long duration like hundrd years or more. Ex: Neem plant.

4. Based on seed types: Seed is the key part of a plant. it is one which gives rise to a new plant. It is also the one from which other animals derive nutrition. But not all seed are alike so, we can differentiate the plants based on type of seeds as

A.monocotyledons: Seed appears as a single entity. Ex: Wheat, rice etc. Their seed has a single cotyledon.

These monocots have adventitious roots with long leaves with parallel veins.

B.dicotyledons. Seed can be broken into two equal halves. Ex: Cashew nut, Pea nut etc. Each half is a cotyledon.

Dicots have taproot system and leaf veins show reticulated arrangement. See more differences here.

5. Based on cell numbers: Plants like animals are made of cells and cell organelles. Plants can be classified based on cell numbers in their body as

a) Single cellular (unicellular): Ex; Bacteria, algae. These are single celled plants. Bacteria are called plants due to cell wall on their cell membrane. Algae are plants which grow in water or moist places. Single celled algae include chlorella, diatoms. Algae have ability of photosynthesis.

b) Multi-cellular: Ex: Fungi & algae; Fungi have many cells linked to one another but still each cell survives on its own. But unlike algae they are saprophytes. Some of them are also parasites.

C) Organ based: These are plants whose cells form tissue and differentiate into organs like leaves, roots, branches, stem, fruit, etc. They are large plants and trees coming under this group. We see these plants in daily life around us.

6. Based on Gametes: This is an advanced feature among plants. Formation of male and female gametes for sexual reproduction is thought to be an advanced feature in evolution.

Plants with gametes are called gametocytes and those without gametes are termed Agametocytes.

7. Based on the cover on seeds: Gymnosperms and angiosperms. Most of the plants we see around have a prominent seed coat around the see. Some of them even have a fruit pulp around the seed formed from the flower. These plants are termed as angiosperms or flowering plants. But there are few plants whose seeds are naked and called as gymnosperms.

8. Based on food habits: This is quite interesting. We get food from plants as they make their own food (Autotrophs). But some are even carnivores. They eat animals. So we can call the plants as

a. Autotrophs: These plants create their own food by use of sunlight. They can do so due to their ability to trap energy of sun light in their leaves due to pigment chlorophyll. Most plants on earth are autotrophs.

b. Carnivores: These plants produce own food, but also eat other insects and animals when they come near to.

Ex: Nepenthes, Venus fly trap.

These plants grow in nitrogen-deficient soil. So for the sake of nitrogen in the form of ammonia, they trap insects and small animals. They either have a cavity to trap and close the insect or have a glue like secretion to trap insects.

Parasitic plant in green.

C. Parasites: These plants depend on other plants for survival.

Hence name parasites.

Ex: Rafflesia

9. Based on root type

Also, plants differ based on their root system as

A) Tap root plants

B) Fibrous root plants

Tap root: These plants have deeply-rooted structure. Roots penetrate very deep into the soil. Due to this they can stand against strong winds and bear massive trunks and branches. Ex: Trees like neem and shrubs like cotton.

Fibrous root plants: These roots are small and bushy. They penetrate just upper layer of soil and can be easily pulled from soil.

Ex: Wheat and rice plants.

Plants provide food, shelter, medicine, bring rainfall and reduce pollution. So, we need to conserve their diversity.

Based on flower type: Flowers are the most beautiful parts of a plant. They are so good looking to attract animals and enable cross pollination. They have pollen grain and also female gametes within them and hence they are genital organs of the plant. The flowers of different plants vary greatly. And the taxonomic classification of plants depends to a large extent on the the flower structure and arrangement of its petals. However, flowers are either simple type with a single flower or complex type with multiple small flowers arranged together called as inflorescence.

Is mint good for you?

Mint may have several potential health benefits.

Managing gastrointestinal problems

Share on PinterestMint may help regulate muscle relaxation.

Mint is a calming herb that people have used for thousands of years to help soothe an upset stomach or indigestion.

A 2019 review found that placebo-controlled studies support the use of peppermint oil as a remedy for a range of gastrointestinal conditions, including indigestion, IBS, stomach pain in children, and feelings of sickness after surgery.

The authors of the review found that mint works against harmful microbes, regulates muscle relaxation, and helps control inflammation.

A different review from the same year assessed 12 randomized controlled trials and found that peppermint oil was a safe and effective intervention for pain symptoms in adults with IBS.

However, a 2019 randomized, double-blind trial of 190 people with IBS found that peppermint oil did not significantly reduce symptoms.

More research is necessary to confirm the benefits of mint products in managing IBS.

Allergies

Mint plants contain an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent called rosmarinic acid.

A 2019 study on rats found that rosmarinic acid reduced symptoms of asthma when compared to a control group that did not receive a supplement.

The mint plant family provides a range of plant compounds that have anti-allergenic effects, according to a 2019 review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology.

However, the content of mint extract in oils and ointments may be far stronger than dietary mint. There is very little research into the effect of dietary mint on the symptoms of allergies.

Soothing common cold symptoms

Mint contains menthol. This an aromatic decongestant that might help to break up phlegm and mucus, making it easier to expel.

Applying menthol ointments or vapor rubs may be a safe and effective treatment for children who have a common cold.

However, the American Lung Association (ALA) advise that scientific studies do not support the use of menthol for managing cold symptoms.

Despite this, some people may find that cold symptoms reduce after applying a menthol vapor rub.

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) advise that peppermint oil may cause skin irritation and redness. They recommend that parents or carers do not apply the ointment directly to the chest or face of a child due to serious possible side effects after direct inhalation.

12 Uses for Mint Leaves From Health to Home

How do you use extra mint leaves? Here are 12 marvelous uses for mint around the home and garden—from culinary to medicinal to mouthwash to bug repellent!

Meet the Mints

What do you know about the mint family, Lamiaceae, the sixth- or seventh-largest of the flowering plant families?

  • The most common and popular mints for growing are peppermint (Mentha × piperita), native spearmint (Mentha spicata), Scotch spearmint (Mentha x gracilis), and cornmint (Mentha arvensis); also (more recently) apple mint (Mentha suaveolens).
  • Mint provides most of our common culinary herbs (e.g., basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme, summer and winter savories).
  • Plus, there are dozens (perhaps hundreds) of traditional medicinal herbs, not to mention many aromatics for use in flavorings, perfumes, and cosmetics.
  • You’ll also find mints among our favorite landscaping plants. Think salvias, agastaches, and lavenders, bee-balms, hyssop, and Russian sage. All summer, they produce nectar-rich blossoms, which attract bees and beneficial pollinators along with an occasional hummingbird.

A favorite in my summer herb garden is the bright red bee-balm which seeds itself all over the place, makes a great cut flower, and serves as a tasty tea to boot.

Many, if not most mint-family members, contain strongly aromatic oils (think lavender, rosemary, basil, thyme, and sage), which account for their many uses as seasoning, flavoring, and perfuming agents.

12 Uses for Mint Leaves

There are many safe uses for mint-family herbs besides beautifying your gardens. Here is just a sampling:

  1. Food: The peppermints are especially good culinary mints, ideal for chopping into salads, sprinkling over fruits or combining with basil or cilantro to make mint pesto. We like to add a couple tablespoons of fresh chopped mint to peas, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, or zucchini to create a minted vegetables!
  2. Drinks: Freeze a few trays of strong mint tea, then use the ice cubes for cooling summer drinks! Add mint leaves or cubes to mojitos, iced tea, or fresh lemonade.
  3. Tea: Why buy mint tea when it’s so easy to make? What we usually call the “mints” (peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, etc.) are traditional tea herbs. Just steep your fresh mint leaves in boiling water for about five minutes and serve. It’s a great digestive aid after dinner. Apple mint is one of my favorites with more mint flavor and less aftertaste.
  4. Hair rinse: Add one part strong mint (especially rosemary) tea to one part cider vinegar for a conditioning rinse you can either leave in or rinse out. The vinegary smell dissipates after drying.
  5. Facial astringent: Add a few finely minced leaves of fresh peppermint or other mint to a cup of witch hazel. Store in a glass jar for a week or more, shaking occasionally. Strain the herbs from the mixture after a week.
  6. Mouthwash: Chop a quarter cup of fresh mint, bee-balm, lemon balm, basil, thyme, or oregano leaves and infuse in a quart of boiling water. When cool, strain the herbs and store in the refrigerator.
  7. Mint bath. Steep a handful of mint leaves in a pint of hot water for about ten minutes, the strain. Add to bath water for an invigorating, stress-free soak.
  8. Ease sunburn pain: Make a strong peppermint tea and refrigerating the mixture for several hours. To use, gently apply to the burned area with cotton pads.
  9. Breath freshener: Just chew on a few mint leaves! Sage teas and extracts have been used for centuries as a mouthwash for oral infections. Don’t use chew mint-family herbs if you’re breastfeeding, as even small amounts or sage and peppermint may reduce milk supply.
  10. Scent up a space: Keep your home smelling fresh by adding a few drops of mint essential oil to your favorite unscented cleaner or just take a cotton ball and dap onto a light bulb.
  11. Moth repellent/scented sachet: Tie a few branches of strongly scented mint (peppermint, sage, lavender, rosemary, bee-balm) together, or pull off a handful of leaves, and stuff them into the leg of an old nylon stocking. Suspend by a string inside a garment bag, tuck into bags of stored woolen clothing, or just place in your drawers to let your clothes soak up the scent. Refresh periodically to keep the scent fresh.
  12. Bug repellent: When ants come into the kitchen during the summer, place a few stems of mint, gently crushed, near suspected entry points really does deter ants. You need to replace the mint with fresh material every few days. Also, keep pets flea-free by stuffing a small pillow with fresh spearmint and thyme and placing near your pet’s bed.

Of course, mint isn’t only used to deter bugs; it also attracts the beneficial insects. Bees and butterflies and hover flies love mint, which is rich in nectar and pollen, and this benefits pollinated plants and crops.


Credit: Anna Shepulova |

Medicinal Use of Mint Plants

Mint has been long known as an herbal remedy, easing queasy stomachs, calming stress and anxiety, and promoting restful sleep.

Peppermint tea has long been viewed as an excellent way to ease an upset stomach, calming the digestive tract and alleviating indigestion, gas, and cramps.

Mint has also been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Many, perhaps most, are also being uses for human and veterinary medicine, as insecticides or insect repellents, and as antifungal or antibacterial protection for crop plants.

Mints are potent plants, full of phytocompounds that plants manufacture to protect themselves against harmful bacteria, viruses, and other assaults from the environments they evolved in.

Interestingly, there are studies that show spearmint is even beneficial to honeybees by cleaning out the mites that infect their hives.

But Use With Caution

If herbal medicine interests you, please approach the mints, especially their essential oils, tinctures, and concentrated extracts, with care. This goes for both over-the-counter and homemade remedies.

Although many have been used by traditional healers around the world for centuries, most herbs haven’t undergone rigorous testing for safety and efficacy, especially in pregnant/nursing women, children, elders, and people with chronic illnesses.

Seek out as much information as you can from books, online sources, and experienced herbalists in your area. Inform your healthcare practitioner whenever you begin using an herbal remedy.

Most herbalists recommend staying away from ingesting essential oils as medicines unless under the care and observation of a medical provider experienced with herbal medicines. Out of an abundance of caution, herbalists also urge pregnant and breastfeeding moms, as well as people with serious chronic diseases to avoid even using mint-family essential oils in massage oils.

Many mint-family species contain potent phytocompounds that affect the endocrine system, sometimes dramatically. For example, sage and peppermint, even as tea or food flavorings, can reduce the milk supply in breastfeeding women. The essential oil of pennyroyal, historically used to induce menstruation or as an abortifacient, can be lethal if ingested in a large enough dose to accomplish those purposes.

Some mints contain strongly psychoactive compounds. Among the most potent: the hallucinogenic Salvia divinorum, whose use and/or sale has been banned in many nations, as well as half of U.S. states.

Discover Lemon Balm

Growing Mint

You may have heard that mint takes over the garden. It’s mainly spearmint that gives a lot of mints a bad name. Peppermint pretty much stays put as its stolons are short and shallow. Also, peppermint rarely produces viable seeds, so you won’t find it popping up in different garden beds.

Wild spearmint is the real bully, developing an enormous network of tough, quarter-inch-thick rhizomes under flower beds, spilling out into a large section of lawn, sending up a new plant every inch or two from the underground nodes. I’ve pulled up yards and yards and yards of the ropey invaders, but they still keep coming.

But if you are cultivating spearmint in your garden, just give this attractive ground cover plenty of room to spread. Or, plant mint in a container such as a terracotta pot near the kitchen window. In the ground, it’s ideal to grow spearmint in its own bed. But if you want to grow mint in a bed with other herbs or plants, consider sinking a deep bucket or tub without holes into the soil and plant into that. Otherwise, spearmint will choke out other plants in the bed.

When cold weather approaches, plants can be lifted and brought indoors in their own pots to give fresh leaves through the first part of winter.

Note: Mint doesn’t seed well nor reproduce true from seed. To grow mint, you need to either purchase a starter plant at a nursery or get a cutting from a friend. Ideally, you could sample a mint that a fellow gardener is growing and choose the one that suits your palate before taking a cutting!

See our Mint Growing Guide for more information.

Grow your own mint for the taste of summer

Growing mint

Mint has ambitions to be ground cover. It’s easier to grow than to eradicate, so always plant with roots restricted, either in a container or pot plunged into the ground.

It makes an excellent companion plant as it deters pests, including whitefly, ants and mice, and the flowers attract bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

It grows well in any soil, but prefers its roots in shade with the sun on its leaves.

Mint likes moisture. I grow mine in a pot near the garden tap.

Jekka’s top 10 mints

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is the best garden mint, especially with peas.

Apple Mint (Mentha suaveolens) for mint jelly.

Eau de Cologne (Mentha x piperita f. citrata) for a refreshing bath.

Swiss Mint (Mentha spicata), excellent in teas.

Buddleia Mint (Mentha longifolia) for arrangements and attracting butterflies.

Upright Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) repels flies and ants.

Black Mitcham Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) as a digestive tea or inhalation.

Chocolate Peppermint (Mentha x piperita f. citrate) for chocolate mousse.

Moroccan Mint (Mentha spicata var. crispa) for teas and mojitos.

Basil Mint (Mentha x piperita f. citrata) for strawberries – with balsamic vinegar.

Growing garden peas

Peas need an open, sunny, rich and moisture-retentive soil that’s well drained.

They like a cool spring, but need a warm soil and protection for early sowings.

Sow taller varieties with enough room to add peasticks for support.

I grow enough to use some as pea shoots in salads.

Don’t pull after harvest, as roots are packed with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

By growing different varieties you can crop all summer.

Earlies include Wavenex, Feltham First and Early Onwards.

Jekka McVicar is teaching a course on how to identify and forage native herbs in the UK, on June 15, as well as Fridays in June. See Jekka’s Herb Farm or phone 01454 418878 or email [email protected]

Mint, from the family Lamiaceae, is a wonderful perennial herb that can be put to use in mint sauces, teas, cocktails. It can be found in our herbal infusion Mint Fiesta and our Gin, 6 O’clock Jekka’s Edition.

The name ‘Mentha’ is said to have been derived from Greek mythology. One story is that the nymph Minthe was being chatted up by Hades the God of the Underworld. His queen Sephony became jealous and turned the nymph into the plant Mint.

Which mint is the best mint?

Our collection of mints in Jekka’s Herbetum exceeds 40. The general characteristics of mint is that it dies back over winter and can be picked between late spring and mid-autumn. It is a good idea to pick regularly to keep plants compact and to ensure lots of new shoots. Always pick from the top down to the next growing shoot.

Mint also makes an excellent companion plant as it deters pests, including whitefly, ants and mice, and the flowers attract bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

The four main groups of mint are:

Mentha spicata: Spearmint is the quintessential mint and can be found growing around the world. The leaf flavour is warm and sweet with light menthol notes. Great with potatoes and mint sauces.

Mentha x piperita: Peppermint has a much more pungent flavour than spearmint and is the hybridisation (x) of water mint, Mentha aquatica and spearmint, Mentha spicata (as mentioned in a previous blog on understanding herbs). The leaves can be used in puddings, cakes, oils, vinegars and tisanes.

Mentha suaveolens: This mint has a milder and rounded flavour that is more spearmint than peppermint and is lovely for making jellies and jams as it holds its flavour when cooked.

Mentha longifolia: These mints have long leaves and are renowned for either flavour or for amazing flowers, which are wonderful for bees, pollinating insects and butterflies.

If you are just after a straightforward garden mint growing outside the back door, and useful in all types of cooking, we suggests Mentha spicata, Spearmint.

How do you grow mint?

Mint generally grows well in any soil, but prefers its roots in shade with the sun on its leaves. It grows and expands by underground rhizomes. As a result, mint grows quickly and will cover the ground with runners if it is permanently moist.

As it is easier to grow than to eradicate it is good to always plant with roots restricted, either in a container or pot plunged into the ground. We sink pots of mint into Jekka’s Herbetum beds (that you can visit on our Open Days). It grows best with a good supply of water, without being water-logged, and planted in areas with part-sun to shade.

When growing in pots, each year you should repot pot bound mints by upturning the container, removing the rootball and splitting it in half. Repot a portion in the same container using fresh compost and give half to a friend (or pot elsewhere).

Jekka’s top tip: Avoid growing different varieties of mint close together, whether in pots or the ground, as they can lose their individual scent and flavour.

Jekka’s top 10 mints

  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is the best garden mint, especially with peas.
  • Apple Mint (Mentha suaveolens) for mint jelly.
  • Eau de Cologne (Mentha x piperita f. citrata) for a refreshing bath.
  • Swiss Mint (Mentha spicata), excellent in teas.
  • Buddleia Mint (Mentha longifolia) for arrangements and attracting butterflies.
  • Upright Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) repels flies and ants.
  • Black Mitcham Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) as a digestive tea or steeped in very hot water so the steam can be used as an inhalant to clear sinuses.
  • Chocolate Peppermint (Mentha x piperita f. citrate) for chocolate mousse.
  • Moroccan Mint (Mentha spicata var. crispa) for teas and mojitos.
  • Basil Mint (Mentha x piperita f. citrata) for strawberries – with balsamic vinegar.

Mint jelly recipe

For the adventurous cook we have a recipe for Jekka’s “After Eight” macaroons using our Mint Fiesta herbal infusion. Otherwise, try the recipe below for our lovely mint jelly, from Jekka’s Herb Cookbook (adapted from Bergamot Jelly on pg. 49) which goes wonderfully with lamb.

Makes approx. 2 * 350 g jars

Ingredient:

  • 1 kg gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 1 bunch of mint leaves
  • 900 ml cold water
  • approx. 450 g sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp chopped mint leaves

Steps:

  1. Wash and sort the gooseberries and add the good ones to a large pan with the bunch of mint leaves and the water
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit is soft and pulpy.
  3. Pour into a jelly bag and leave to drain overnight.
  4. Next day, measure the juice and add 450 g of sugar for every 600 ml of liquid.
  5. Pour the juices and sugar into a heavy pan, bring back to the boil and boil steadily until setting point is reached, about 20-30 minutes. Setting point is when the liquid has reached 110 Deg C, or when you put some of the jam on a chilled saucer and it wrinkles slightly when you draw your finger across it.
  6. Skim off the surface scum, stir in the lemon juice and the chopped mint leaves.
  7. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal when cool. This will keep in unopened jars for 1 year.
  8. Once opened, store in a fridge and use within 1 month.

Sources:

  • A Pocketful of Herbs
  • Jekka’s Complete Herb Book
  • Jekka’s Herb Cookbook

Each mint will have a description of the mint plant as well as scores on several properties of the mint.

Overall Mintyness- 1 being no mint flavor, 5 being very minty

Similarity to name- (example: if it is orange mint, how orangey is it?) 1 is no similarity at all, 5 is very similar

Assertiveness- 1 is very little runners and spread, 5 thrives and wants to be everywhere

Height- 1 is very low growing, 5 is tall

Striking appearance- 1 is very common, 5 is interesting and unique

Sweet Mint

Sweet Mint 1- Started from seed, package just labeled as “mint”

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- NA

Assertiveness- 3

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: This is a common mint with nothing special about it.

Sweet Mint 2

Sweet Mint 2- From bonnie plants purchased at a home improvement store

Overall Mintyness- 5

Similarity to name- NA

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 4

Comments: The leaves are a very bright green and each one is textured so it is a nice addition to a garden. It is a very bright flavored mint and nice to have around for basic cooking needs. It spreads quite well. The one I have is a cutting from a neighbor. I was able to make 5 to 4 cuttings from a very small plant. It has filled a 4” by 24” pot by the end of May with very small plants this spring. Cutting it makes it seem to grow more.

Peppermint

Peppermint- from my father’s garden. These are the bits that tried to make a run for it through a cracked pot

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- NA

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 3

Comments: The leaf shape and texture is OK, but it has an almost purple hue to the leaves so it is a good color addition to a foliage garden. It filled a 4” by 24” pot with the pieces we pulled from my father’s garden this spring AFTER he already pulled the majority of the runaway runners out earlier. The pot it was buried in cracked and the mint made a run for it.

Mojito

Mojito Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- 5

Assertiveness-1

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 4

Comments: According to the tag only true Mojitos can be made with mojito mint. It has very large very bright green textured leaves. It is a very attractive mint. Cuttings root in water very well but so far I have no visible runners. It is a very mild, sweet mint with a bunch of citrus over tones and can be almost bitter in taste.

Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint- From bonnie plants purchased at a home improvement store

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- 5

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: This tastes like Andes after dinner mints, and has what I refer to as the “wow” factor that a lot of the mints lack. Orange mint- doesn’t taste like orange to me at all. But chocolate mint you can’t mistake or miss what it is supposed to be but it is still defiantly a mint.

Orange Mint

Orange mint- From bonnie plants purchased at a home improvement store

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- 1

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 2

Comments: The leaves are more rounded than most other mints and if in an area that gets almost too much afternoon sun it will blush a nice burgundy hue. I can’t tell any citrusy hints in this mint at all, and when I asked a group of five during a mint tasting they couldn’t tell it was suppose to be Orange either.

Pineapple Mint

Pineapple Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name- 4

Assertiveness- 1

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 5

Comments: I don’t particularly like the pineapple and mint combination. I don’t particularly like pineapple. However, the white edging to the mint leaves more than makes up for this failing. It is a beautiful addition to your mint garden that you could grow for appearance alone. So far it has not sent out any runners that I can see, so it is not as aggressively spreading as some.

Berries and Cream

Berries and cream Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name- 1

Assertiveness- 5

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: The leaves are nothing special, the mint flavor is very, very mild (I think the name berries and cream comes from the idea that it is a mild mint to enhance deserts with berries with a little mint, that isn’t over powering). This is the most aggressive mint I have ever seen. I have a hard time keeping it in its half of the container. Not only does it have runners but those runners root faster and sprout full sized plants faster than I have ever seen. You want a ground cover mint- go with this one. I mean it, I feel like I have to go at it with an ax to keep it where it should be. And NEVER, EVER plant this in the ground, even in a pot in the ground if you don’t want it everywhere. The runners run along the top of the soil so a pot won’t stop this bad boy.

Lemon Mint

Lemon Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name-4

Assertiveness- 3

Height- 2

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: This is not to be confused with Lemon Balm- I did for a little while, since they are both in the same plant family. The leaves are unremarkable and the flavor while lemony doesn’t seem to shock people. Mint and lemon make a wonderful flavor combination so I can see a lot of culinary opportunities for this. There are a few runners already this year, but it just seems like the normal mint level of assertiveness. It makes a nice tea.

Candy Pops Mint

Candy Pops Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name- Unknown

Assertiveness- 1

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 5- we hope

Comments: This mint was not breed for its flavor or aroma. It was breed because the flowers do not bloom in a spike but in a ball. I have finally seen it bloom. Yes, it blooms in balls, but the mint flowers are not striking enough to make ball shaped blooms desirable enough to purchase from a far. It has not sent out any visible runners. Young leaves are very fuzzy, but they lose some of that as they grow.

Fruit Sorbet Mint

Fruit Sorbet Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 1

Similarity to name- 1

Assertiveness-1

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 2

Comments: This mint is very nondescript. The name comes from the idea that it is a mild mint to enhance deserts with fruit with a little mint, that isn’t over powering. This might be true, but in all other regards this mint doesn’t have anything exciting enough about it to recommend it. I want a mint that people smell or taste and say – wow!- or “my goodness”. I want a pretty mint that adds texture, height, or color to the garden. I want a mint that I can propagate or fill a container with. Finally, it has some of the red and purple highlights that made it so attractive to purchase, but I had to wait until mid August. Because of that I have bumped the appearance up to a 2.

Iced Hazelnut

Iced Hazelnut Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 4

Similarity to name- 5

Assertiveness- 2

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 3

Comments: This is a “wow!” mint. I think it smells and tastes like an iced minty coffee drink. It is just amazing and it is my second favorite mint. The leaves are a deep rich green with a little curl to them so they are very nice in appearance. They are still minty but they have a coffee, hazel nutty tones that are front and center instead of an under tone. I just can’t say enough about this mint. I love it! Unfortunately it has sent out only one runner, and that one has not sprouted yet, so it does not spread quickly.

Sweet Pear Mint

Sweet Pear Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name- 4

Assertiveness- 1

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: This does have a lot of pear scent. It has little mint tones, so this might be a great desert and fruit mint as well. It has not sent out any runners and does not spread quickly. The leaves are not very remarkable in appearance.

Ginger Mint

Ginger Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name-5

Assertiveness-2

Height- 1

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: When I purchased this the picture had yellow centers to all the leaves. I have yet to see that. I was told the plant needed to “mature” so maybe I will see it in the fall when the leaves change, but some never have yellow. It is very gingery, so that is a plus. It is so gingery and not very minty that this plant has pest problems the neighbors that are more minty do not.

Lime Mint

Lime Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name-2

Assertiveness-3

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 5

Comments: The leaves are very large and glossy with lots of red hues to them. I can’t taste the lime in these until a little while later on my lips if I lick them. However, I find the plant so appealing that I don’t care about the rest. It has sent out some runners so it does have the growth that usual mints have. They do not have a pest problem.

Curly Mint

Curly Mint- Found growing wild in an alley.

Overall Mintyness- 5

Similarity to name-5

Assertiveness-5

Height- 5

Striking appearance- 4

Comments: I found this in an alley behind a middle eastern restaurant. I don’t know if it was a volunteer from the middle eastern cooking or planted intentionally, but it had spread enough that no one was going to notice if I dug up a little and took it home. I am only assuming it is curly mint based on the appearance and a nice Google search. It is very minty without becoming bitter tasting as so many of the “citrus” ones tend to do.

Grapefruit Mint

Grapefruit Mint- From bonnie plants purchased at a home improvement store

Overall Mintyness- 4

Similarity to name- 4

Assertiveness- 3

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 4

Comments: This plant has a lot to recommend it. The leaves are rounded with a curly jagged quality that I really find attractive. It is still a very minty mint, but the grapefruit is really apparent. It is a tall plant so it isn’t dwarfed easily and it has several runners that make it easy to fill its space and propagate. I think that this is a good quality mint to keep around for a variety of culinary and aesthetic purposes.

Julep Mint

Julep Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 5

Similarity to name- 5

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 5

Striking appearance- 3

Comments: This is a very tall mint plant and the leaves smell just like spearmint gum- very sweet without any bitterness at all. It spreads rapidly and the runners root well. Overall, if you have to choose one mint for your garden for your culinary needs, I would choose this one.

Marshmallow Mint

Marshmallow Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name-1

Assertiveness-Unknown at this time

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 2

Comments: This mint doesn’t have anything striking about it to recommend it. I do not think it smells like marshmallows. This mint did not survive the winter, all the other mints did.

Brittney Mint Patty

Britney Mint Patty Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 4

Similarity to name-2

Assertiveness- Unknown

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 2

Comments: This mint doesn’t have anything obviously striking to recommend it.

Wintergreen Mint

Wintergreen Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 4

Similarity to name- 2

Assertiveness- Unknown

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 3

Comments: The color was unusually bright green and the leaves are fuzzy when it arrived. It has since lost all of its uniqueness.

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