Many Mints: The Mint Family



  • Pineapple mint (Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata')
    Saxon Holt

According to Barbara Perry Lawton, author of Mints, A Family of Herbs and Ornamentals (Timber Press, 2002), the mint family, Lamiaceae or Labiatae, includes horehound (Marrubium vulgare), lavender (Lavandula spp.), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), oregano (Origanum vulgare), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), sage (Salvia officinalis), sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), thyme (Thymus spp.) and several others. All the plants in the mint family are referred to as mints, while the term “true mints” describes only those belonging to the Mentha genus.

The best known of the mints is spearmint (Mentha spicata). It has a strong scent and flavor and is a recognizable culinary seasoning herb around the world. The plants can grow to 36 inches tall, and are hardy to Zone 5; they are best in full sun (where the plant develops its best flavor) but will grow in partial shade. Used in lemonades, iced teas, mint juleps, salads, sauces, and as a flavoring for gums, candies and upset-stomach remedies, mint is a universal herb. During Prohibition, spearmint was so closely associated with mint juleps that mint beds in Kentucky and several other Southern states were destroyed.

Peppermint is the second most used and recognizable of the mints. One of my favorites is chocolate mint (Mentha ×piperita ‘Chocolate’), which has a slight and delicious flavor of chocolate, especially when the leaves are candied. Peppermint is used in candies, gums and other foods and often is combined with spearmint for a more complex flavor. Like many of the mints, peppermint seldom comes true from seed and some sources claim that true peppermint never sets seed at all.

Contributing editor Jim Long lives and gardens in the Ozark Mountains.



Click here for the original article,  Many Mints: Recipes and Growing Tips for Mint .



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Get the latest on Natural Health and Sustainable Living with Mother Earth News!

Mother Earth News

Your friends at Mother Earth Living are committed to natural health and sustainable living. Unfortunately, the financial impact of COVID-19 has challenged us to find a more economical way to achieve this mission. We welcome you to our sister publication Mother Earth News. What you sought in the pages of Mother Earth Living can be found in Mother Earth News. For over 50 years, “The Original Guide to Living Wisely” has focused on organic gardening, herbal medicine, real food recipes, and sustainability. We look forward to going on this new journey with you and providing solutions for better health and self-sufficiency.

The impact of this crisis has no doubt affected every aspect of our daily lives. We will strive to be a useful and inspiring resource during this critical time and for years to come.

Best wishes,
Your friends at Mother Earth Living and Mother Earth News

Save Money & a Few Trees!

By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of Mother Earth News for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Classifieds