I have mint, how do I tell what kind it is.

jolj(7b/8a)April 17, 2012

A lady gave me some mint to grow some years ago.

I use it to liven up salads,my wife use it in tea.

The leave is the size of a thumb nail.

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The plant in my hands is a Blueberry plant, this photo was take for another reason, but shows the mint.
Just would like the name, & yes I was told it would take the
place. My orchard is covered with grass, mint is an improvement.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:59AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Looks like ordinary spearmint, but without smelling or tasting it I can't be certain.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 4:49PM
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Thank you, it taste sharp to my tongue, but not peppery.
I will call it ordinary spearmint.
I hope to get the other mints also, to full my whole orchard.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:53PM
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It does look like a mint... but there are mints and there are mints. Catnip is a mint. Horehound is a mint. Gill-Over-the Ground is a mint. Plants in the mint family have a squared stem and have paired opposite leaves, as do your plants.

A word of caution? If you plant different mints within reach of each other (10 to 20 feet), you will end up with common or wild mint, which has a mild, indistinguishable minty flavor. Mint propogates by sending out runners across or just beneath the surface of the ground, and will cross with any other mint within reach. I grow Spearmint and Peppermint plants in pots separated by about 12 feet of deck space.

If your mint tastes like chewing gum or toothpaste, it COULD be Spearmint. Peppermint does have a bite to it - at least it does to me - and after chewing it for a minute or two tastes like peppermint stick candy. The flowers of Spearmint grow in a spike at the tips of the branches.

Whichever you have, in order to maintain the flavor, try to get more of the same type of mint to plant with it. Why not dig up some of the plants and scatter them around the orchard?

Have you tried cooking with it? Add it to salads or to Middle-Eastern dishes like Spanikopita or Moussaka, Greek soups or spinach dishes, spinach quiche, etc. You can also add it to your tea or just to boiling water or to lemonade for a refreshing drink that will also lower your body temperature by a few degrees. And be sure to dry some to use during the off-season.

Hope that helps!

- JB

Hope that helps?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:05PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

judybear - I would not class catnip or horehound or your other examples as 'mints'. Certainly they are in the same family as mint (Labiatae) but they are not Mentha species. They are to mints as apples are to roses. The pictured plant is pretty clearly a Mentha and mentioning those other plants is possibly adding complication to the question.

Regarding the concept that growing different mints together leads to ending up with one type of mint, I don't know, biologically speaking, how it can possibly happen unless the plants flower, cross breed, self sow and the OP uses the progeny. Merely growing in proximity to each other could not change their nature. It most definitely will not cross with other mints merely by contact. That is biologically impossible. There has been discussion of this myth before here. (see link)

Here is a link that might be useful: Mint myths

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 7:22AM
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I will plant the different mints away from each other, on 10 acres, that should be easy. If I cut a large patch of flowering mint(in the future)I will harvest to dry, then set lawn mower on high & trim the mint or let it go to seed.
In the pic above the mint run under a burlap bag that was mulching the Austen blue berry & came up though it in just under 6 months of growth. Late Fall to Winter to early Spring.
Thank you for your reply & knowledge.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:18PM
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I just wanted to throw in that with the mint leaf shape and texture (if it's not hairy) looks like this specific mint plant could be Sweet Mint, or Mentha Spicata. I guess it's the same as Spearmint?

At this time I have about 6 different mint plants, and each of them have their own growing style and coloring/shape. My peppermint is a low growing plant that roots it's sisters very close to the ground as it crawls and bunches. It's also a darker color (so not bright green) and tends to smell like candy canes, where the Sweet Mint grows upwards and spreads out longer sisters to grow more plants that grow upwards (like this photo). Chocolate Mint resembles the Peppermint plant more, but it also grows more like the Sweet Mint- Upwards and longer sisters. Here are some photos I have of my well established 2 year old Sweet Mint/Spearmint plant, for your comparison.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:44AM
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ykerzner(9 TX)

Jolj - I would guess Mentha Spicata as well. However, how tall does your mint get? I have a mint extremely similar that is some sort of wild mint, except it can get three feet tall (and spreading) in the right conditions. Usually it gets about 1 to 1.5 feet tall.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:37PM
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