Mint - favorite varieties

I'm thinking about starting a few mint plants in containers... as a starting point for using plants for culinary purposes..
Before plunking down the money for whatever is being sold locally, are there specific mint plants that you would recommend for their taste and use in cooking ??
Are there any mint plants used specifically for fragrance ??
Thanks in advance for your advice and recommendations !!
Peter
ps.... easter lillies have been planted and are still developing new pods and blossoms... amazing plant...
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

There are many cultivars of mint and naming is probably regional and they hybridise readily. So identifying a specific mint according to some description from anywhere in the world and then obtaining it is doubtfull. They are all esteemed for fragrance but taste varies.
Having said that my favourite for cooking has broad dark green leaves with reddish stems. It's called 'mint' (!)
They all like damp conditions and will do OK with only part sun.
David
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wrote:

There are many plants in the mint family that are used culinarilly, oregano is one... but I think the poster is refering to the two most popular known as "mint", peppermint and spearmint. There are varieties of each but for a newbie purposes just check the plant nurseries for either, or search about and query neighbors who will undoubtably have some to give away, either cultivated or growing wild... I have both types growing wild, in areas it's so profuse I mow it... it smells nice but I detest mint in foods... I don't even like mint dental preparations, I buy cinnamon mouth wash (Lavoris) and lately I've been using Tom's of Main fennel flavored toothpaste. Be very careful with growing mint, it's extremely invasive... it'll seem to as if by magic hop right out of your pot and begin to sprout up all over and it's near impossible to erradicate without killing everything over a great area.
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In

<http://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/store/find.asp?mscssid=JGPRGTVERDLP8 GRM5R9VJNAPU2HSAKQB>
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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If you are going to be cooking Lebanese (tabouli for example) or Moroccan cuisine, you'll probably want Mentha spicata (spearmint).
Peppermint is good in summer drinks and fruit salads as is Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis - L.) which tastes like lemons.
I use Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris - L.) to control blood pressure but it can be used in salads, soups, stews, although it isn't as pungent as the three listed above. http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Prunella+vulgaris
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On 4/26/2009 8:35 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I have peppermint (Mentha piperita) in a 12-inch flower pot. It does quite well.
Some recipes call for mint in small quantities. You don't taste any mint, but there is something not quite recognizable in what you do taste.
Occasionally, I pick and chew a sprig of peppermint. For those not familiar with the plant, the taste is a surprise. Everyone seems to think peppermint should be sweet because they are used to peppermint candies. The sprig is not sweet at all.
I sometimes dry a bunch of peppermint. Steeped in boiling water, it makes a pleasant tea or an add-on to other teas.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 23:35:29 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Thanks all for your helpful responses.....
I'll be trying the varieties you've suggested... it would be nice to try something homegrown, instead of store bought.
As suspected... I was cruising the local 'Wally's World' today... they had one type of plant labelled "mentha". No other information given.
Thanks for rec. gardens
Peter
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I assume you queried mint in my last post.
Bill
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Sure did !!! Delightful site.... I didn't realize there were so many different varieties of mint... Purchasing direct from a nursery means I'll at least know which mint will be growing... Some nice recipes there also...
It's a start into herb gardening, I'd like to start learning just a little about the variety of non-vegetable plants which are so useful...
Tnanks again for your suggestion !!!
Peter
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On Mon, 27 Apr 2009 17:25:24 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I bought Mint Julip two weeks ago and it is the only edible plant on my deck. This one has the aroma of Wrigley Doublemint gum. There were several varieties of mint, I picked the one that had the most pleasing smell (to me). Dogs and cats are not amused. I'm giving it the same care as the coleus, moist soil and full morning sun. Mint does not have the typical care of herbs. I have spearmint too, which has been growing on the pond edge for many years but I keep it in close check.
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Speaking of cats: http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Nepeta+cataria (a.k.a. catnip) it is a mint.

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I keep Mint growing in a 12" container on the deck with a catch basin under it. It frequently has water standing in it, and the dogs will drink that rather than their clean water in their bowl. I wonder if it tastes like mint? Haven't wnted to taste it, it still has dirt in it. Nan in DE
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Grows wild here along banks of a local river; don't know how it got there; whether it escaped form someone's garden years ago or ..... ??? Suffice to say there have been livyers here since the 1500s etc. so maybe came with some of them from Europe!
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On 4/27/2009 2:25 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote [in part]:

That's why I never buy plants at a lumber yard or hardware store. Instead, I go to a nursery.
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Climate: California Mediterranean
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I'm in the transition stage between not knowing anything about plants, thus being easily impressed by big box 'marketing'. Now, thanks to the many folks on this newsgroup who continuously offer their recommendations and advice, I'm at the stage where I can actually evaluate some of the plants from a gardeners perspective.
Someday, (maybe, perhaps), I'll know enough to graduate from the local Wally's World and Lumber stores to the nurseries, where I can actually chose the specifics of the plant. i.e..... ahhh... the varieties of mint.
In the meantime, I'm loving the trip...
diary.. During my trip to Wally's World, they were closing out some type of 'Spring' Azalea. These are 6" foil wrapped pots labelled 'Floral Azaleas', The blossoms were dead, and the leaves were showing... imagine that !! Terrible...having leaves show instead of blossoms...at least Wal Mart thought so. So they cut the price back to clear them out and still make a profit.
Fortunately the grower was listed.... Kurt Weiss Greenhouse of Center Moriches, NY. A quick visit to their site identified the plants as being Girard's 'Rose' Azalea... hardy 5 - 8 dappled sunlight, low growing,, flowers may/june.
To put it all together... several ng members have discussed the use of 'holiday' or 'special occasion' plants and how to continue growing them. I've gotten good 'soil' recipes from other members. Other members have contributed advice on growing azaleas. Even more members have contributed the value of 'research' and synergy. Result ??? I feel somewhat confident that these plants will actually become an attractive part of the landscape.
Thanks to the knowledge, experience, and advice freely shared by others on this newsgroup... for me, the original 'black thumb' that's quite an accomplishment.
For which I'm grateful...
Peter
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On Apr 26, 11:35pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Chocolate mint -- smells EXACTLY like a Peppermint Patty. Nice in iced tea.
Mints are a *large* category, generally referring to plants with square stems. Most are *very* easy to propagate from cuttings, coleus being a familiar example.
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