Can anyone help identify this mint? It grows 4 to 5 feet high, the largest
leaves are 3 inches long, the stems and leaves are a little hairy. It has a
good taste for making mint tea, and best of all, doesn't spread aggressively
like other mints that I have. This mint was here when I moved in, and I
suspect it's been here a long time and it's still a small patch:
If the flowers were pinker you'd have applemint, Mentha suaveolens. That's
a real spreader. Not that I have anything against spreading mints in
general, I have about 10 "real" mints (Mentha spp.), but this particular
one takes over the peppermint patch and doesn't taste very good. So this
year I've just ripped up every applemint I've seen pop up, in my garden.
Catpiss is quite a good description of both taste and scent.
It's a species, therefore easily grown from seeds.
If the leaves were narrower it could be Moroccan mint, Mentha spicata var.
crispa cv., which is very good in ice tea indeed. That doesn't spread as
much and has a nice sweetish spearminty taste - and the flowers are in
small (less than 1 cm in diameter), distinct white balls on their
It's a hybrid, doesn't grow from seeds (or well, it might make seeds, but
they won't give you moroccan mint), so it has to be planted from runners.
Of course, mints hybridize freely, so you could have something else again.
Henriette Kress, AHG Helsinki, Finland
Henriette's herbal homepage: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
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