|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Friday, 24 May 2013|
Mint is a versatile herb of European origin that has many uses from calming the digestive tract to freshening breath. It also makes a wonderful iced mint tea and is a nice addition to fruit salads.
Mint (Mentha spp.) is a versatile herb of European origin that has many uses from calming the digestive tract to freshening breath. Itís also a nice addition to fruit salads or mixing with yogurt and honey, and itís an essential ingredient in mint tea (of course!) and popular cocktails like Mint Juleps and the Cuban cocktail favorite the Mojito. Mint is also easy to grow and in fact, can be too easy to grow as it naturalizes quite easily under most growing conditions. This isnít necessarily a bad thing especially if you use it frequently. Make not that it can be used fresh, dried, or even frozen. A perennial with aromatic leaves and square stems, it is a member of the mint family (Labiaeae) and prefers rich soil that is on the moist side and thrives in full sun, but tolerates partial shade. Here are five of my favorites:
1. Chocolate Mint (M. piperata 'Chocolate Mint')
Mint with a suggestion of chocolate, like an after dinner mint--almost.
2. Orange Mint (M. piperata 'Orange Mint')
Add a citrus twang to your mint. Bronzy hue to the leaves.
3. Spearmint (M. spicata 'Spearmint Chewing Gum')
My personal favorite when it comes to mint juleps and mojitos and to eat straight from the garden. Dark green leaves.
4. Apple Mint (M. sauveolens)
Mint with a sweet taste of apple. Large light green leaves. Thereís also a woolly version.
5. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Love the taste of toothpaste? Then peppermint is probably one of your favorites.