Identifying Mint

foxd(z5b/6a)June 16, 2006

I understand the are about a hundred different types of mint in the world. I have been given two I would like to identify. Any pointers on identifying what types of mints I have been given? The people who gave them to me don't know what types they are either.

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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

Posting a picture would be most helpful.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 12:10AM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

Hey, I've got the same question.

This mint is a volunteer in my paddock. I thought it was something wild, but then I tried teaching it some manners by inviting it to tea, and it was surprisingly good. It's currently about two feet tall. Here's a photo:

While i have you here, I have a couple other mysteries. Do you think this could be an elder?

And do you think this next series could be valerian?

Many thanks,


    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 8:08PM
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Don't know about the mint (there are more than 600 varieties to choose from!), but the second picture does look like elder, and the last does look like valerian. However, don't eat ANY of them unless you have 100% positive identification. Looking at pictures tells us very little, really. Nature has a rather nasty habit of occasionally making a deadly poisonous plant look just like a harmless one. Take a whole plant (roots and all, and in as fresh condition as possible) to your local agricultural centre of botanical garden, pay a few dollars, and have it positively identified. Meantime, don't use them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 8:00AM
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makalu_gw(z5b NY)

I agree with daisy ... the second could be elder but it could also very easily be water hemlock since the two plants look very similar. The last one looks just like my valerian and will need to be deadheaded very soon or you'll have volunteers sprouting up all over the place. Nice cut flowers though.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 11:19AM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

I'm reasonably confident regarding the elder and the valarian, as I planted both on purpose. I'd really thought that the elder had bit the dust, and when this plant grew in about that same place, I wasn't sure if it was really an elder or a weed. The valarian was part of a garden that I'd started but lost track of, and was overcome with weeds. Now, with very few exceptions, I don't know what's what, but I had a hunch that the valarian was competing well. I'd also tried angelica nearby, which would be my second guess.

The mint is the mystery.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 8:41AM
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Sorry I took so ling getting a couple of pictures. They are identified as mint1 and mint2. I have two pictures of each. No idea what type of mint they are.

Click here for picture album

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 8:38PM
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Can anyone identify this mint that my husband planted. It has a very strong flavour

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 1:22AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Elder and valerian - got them both in my gardens. Elder and hemlock look distinctly different. Easy ID difference, your Sambucus sp. (elder) should have woody stems at that size.

Couldn't see the 2 mint pix - it wanted me to login. Try sharing the images out or attach the images to your post.

Last mint picture - got an image of the whole plant?


    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 4:48PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

The second picture looks like two things:
1- from walnut family
2- sumac
Non of those are herbs.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 5:54AM
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nickl(Z7a NJ)

To hilaryphillips:

It is definitely NOT a mint.

It looks to me likes some kind of sage. Sage (salvia) is a large family of plants, and there are culinary varieties and strictly ornamental types, You'll know for sure when it grows a bit and starts to bloom, but for now I'd hold off on using it in cooking. Some of the ornamental varieties have an off-flavor.

Here is a picture of the most common of the culinary varieties ;:

This post was edited by nickl on Tue, Jun 18, 13 at 9:35

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:25AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I'm pretty certain it is an elder and it is definitely not sumac or walnut. See google images link for elder leaf images.

FYI - sumac and walnut are indeed herbs. Go look them up at PFAF. :)


Here is a link that might be useful: Google Images - sambucus canadensis leaves

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 4:52PM
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