What is mint and where does it grow?


mint: photos and descriptions of species

  • How to grow mint at home - video

Ancient Greek legend says that mint is a beautiful nymph Minta transformed into a plant. The goddess Persephone, having learned that a young beauty attracted her spouse Aida, put a spell on the nymph. Since then, mint has appeared in Crete and other parts of the Mediterranean.

Where does mint grow today? Unfortunately, this is just a beautiful fairy tale, otherwise the world would have such a variety of fragrant, spicy-aromatic and even medicinal plants, united under the common name - mint. Today, more than 25 species belonging to the family of the Lambskin, having some common features, but also having important differences, are discovered. What is mint growing in different parts of the world?

If you make a general description for most species, then mint is a herb with straight or downright stems, depending on the type, from 20 to 150 centimeters. The mint has oval, ovate or elongated leaves about 4–8 cm long, often, like the stems, pubescent. In addition, the mint has a special flower shape, which gave the second name to the whole family - Sponge flowers.

Of the total number of existing species, not more than one-third are actively cultivated, but fragrant and even ornamental plants, which are very distant relatives, are sometimes considered mint.

Mint meadow

The most famous meadow mint in Russia or Mentha arvensis. This species as a wild plant can be seen in European countries and almost everywhere in our country from its western borders to the Far East. This species is also called mint noble or Lapland.

Oil obtained from culture contains from 60 to 92% menthol. Despite this, the taste of meadow mint is soft, which allows the use of leaves and tops of shoots for cooking and medical purposes. The stems of this perennial species grow to 80 centimeters in height. Rhizomes, like those of related plants, creeping, powerful. Flowers have a pinkish or lilac color, small, collected on the false whorls located along the stem. The flowering time of mint meadow begins in June and ends only in October.

Garden Mint: photos and description of the speciesIn the wild form of the species can be found in the south-west and south of Russia, where mint grows in moist shady places.

This species of mint has one-year tetrahedral stalk, reaching a length of about one meter, on which are oblong-ovate, with pointed tips leaves. As seen in the garden mint photo, the upper part of the leaf is completely smooth, the smallest hairs are only veins on the back side. The height of the plant does not exceed 45 cm, but the bush grows to a width of 90 cm. Small purple flowers of mint garden, as in the photo, appear in July and fade only at the end of summer.

Dry and fresh mint leaves with a pronounced aroma and a direct, slightly spicy taste are used for culinary purposes.

Curly Mint

Curly Mint, Curly or Mentha spicata crispa is a variety of garden mint with a specific form of foliage. Although this attractive plant was found in the wild only in parts of Asia, southern Europe and northern Africa, curly mint quickly moved to regions with a temperate climate and was cultivated not only in European countries and Russia, but also on the North American continent.

Read also: Photo, cultivation and methods of harvesting lemon mint

The height of the perennial plant ranges from 30 to 100 cm, the stems are powerful, erect, seated with reaped, serrated along the edge, bright green leaves. Flowers of curly mint differ little from flowers of closely related species, have a pale pink or white color and are collected in whorled inflorescences.

Moroccan Mint

Moroccan Mint or Mentha spicata crispa Moroccan - this is nothing more than curled mint. The particular name is of French origin and refers to the times when Morocco, among other North African provinces, was a colony of France. The spices, fruits and plants brought from this country seemed outlandish to Europeans.

Moroccan mint, grown in a hotter climate than in the Old World, contained more essential oils and menthol, and also had unusual corrugated leaves, which is why it deserved a fixed name.

Apple Mint

Mentha rotundifolia or round mint is called the Egyptian, gold and confectionery. Often interspecific hybrid between mint long and fragrant is called apple mint. Initially, the species originates from Asia Minor or from North Africa.

And in the middle lane and in the south of Europe, in the Transcaucasian countries and in Russia, where mint grows as a garden crop, the plant is valued for its pleasant, refreshing taste, soft aroma.

For culinary purposes, not only young leaves are used, but the whole green part of the plant. In addition to the usual forms of apple mint with green foliage, today variegated varieties, combining decorative and spicy-taste qualities, have been developed. Both those and other variations of apple mint form grassy bushes, from 50 to 70 cm high, covered with characteristic for the species round or wide ovate leaves, on which a thick pile is clearly visible.

Chocolate Mint

The increasingly popular Chocolate Mint, or Mentha piperita citrata Chocolate, is a variation of peppermint that combines menthol flavor with light notes of citrus and chocolate.

The impression that mint really has something to do with a favorite delicacy is supported by the coloring of the plant, in which there are quite a lot of anthocyanins.

Mint fragrant

The fragrant mint or Mentha suaveolens, which is widespread in the Mediterranean and in the countries of Asia Minor, as well as in several European countries, is a perennial fragrant plant that is used in cooking and medicine. In the wild, the plant is sunny, but not dry.

In countries where mint of this species grows, it reaches a height of 30 to 100 cm. Stems are erect, pubescent, covered with heart-shaped medium-sized green leaves. Leaf blades are compressed, with small teeth at the edges. Fragrant mint blossoms, forming cone-shaped dense inflorescences consisting of small white flowers.

Japanese mint: description of the type and photo

Unknown to Europeans and Japanese mint presented in the photo or Mentha japonica is a perennial plant found only on two islands of the Japanese archipelago, Hokkaido and Honshu.

Places where Japanese mint grows are mostly swampy or wet forests. The height of a rare plant, even for the Land of the Rising Sun, does not exceed 40 cm, the stems are erect or creeping, the leaves are small, barely 2 cm long. Small flowers of white or pale purple shade are collected in sparse inflorescences. It is time to bloom Japanese mint, in the photo, comes in August and lasts until mid-autumn.

Like other species of the family, the plant contains essential oils and is used for the manufacture of cosmetics, and is also used as a spicy-flavoring seasoning.

Forest mint: description and photo of

Forest mint or almonds in our country refer to a plant belonging to the family of Lambskin, but which is only a distant relative of the familiar mint. This is Origanum or Origanum vulgare. In Europe, and especially in the countries of the Mediterranean region, the forest mint presented in the photo is known as Oregano.

In Russia, where oregano or forest mint grows almost throughout the country in the wild, the culture is used as a drug. In the middle zone of the European part and in Siberia, oregano can be found on floodplain meadows and clearings, in oak forests and along the edges of coniferous forests.

In France, Italy and the USA, forest oregano or oregano is valued as a seasoning for vegetable and meat dishes, baked goods and marinades. Therefore, in these regions, herbaceous perennial actively cultivated. Forest mint stems begin to branch already above the soil level, growing to 30 - 70 cm. In oregano, the oblong oval leaves are dark on top and noticeably lighter on the back side. The inflorescences are not whorled or racemes, like those of mint, but are scabaceous, consisting of pinkish or light violet small flowers.

Read also: How and when to sow mint on seedlings?

Mexican Peppermint

Mexican Peppermint, most species of which grow on the North American continent, is included in one family and even a group with garden mint, but has a different name. To botanists and gardeners, this plant is better known as a lofant, multi-griddling or Agastache scrophulariifolia.

This is a spectacular perennial, forming bushes up to one and a half meters tall and possessing quite a strong aroma, which gave reason to call the plant Mexican mint.

Lofant in the Russian regions is grown as an attractive decorative culture, a magnificent honey plant and a medicinal plant. It is true that the Mexican mint in the European part of the middle zone, in Western Siberia and the Urals survived the winter, culture needs shelter and a guarantee that in the spring the plant roots will not end up in the water.

At one place the multicolar grows well up to 6 years. Today, many varieties are bred with flowers of various shades from lilac and deep blue to orange and crimson.

Home Mint: Photos and Description of

Species If Mexican mint or oregano, not belonging to the closest relatives of familiar garden varieties, is still used as a medicinal and spicy plant, then mint belonging to the genus Plectranthus is an exclusively decorative culture.

A large number of plants from the tropical zones of Asia, Africa, Australia and South America claim the right to be called house mint.

Plectrumnty are perennials, some of which have found a place in houses as houseplants, and some are grown as decorative garden plants. Moreover, among the grassy plants there are also tall shrubs.

Read also: Features of the cultivation of winter wheat

Plectranthus fruticosus or up to a meter tall dam shrub plentranus is one of the mint-like species. A shrub consists of superficial creeping roots, pubescent branching shoots, seated heart-shaped, pointed leaves of 10 centimeters in length. Leaves show rounded teeth.

At home mint, as in the photo, lilac fragrant flowers combined in loose inflorescences on the tops of the shoots.

Coleus or nettle with bright variegated foliage also refers to the same species as in the photo, home mint.

Another shrub reaching a record height of 2.5 meters is called Plectranthus ecklonii. In South Africa, where the mint of this exotic variety grows, the plant prefers lit areas or partial shade. The shrub grows rather slowly, annually blooms, giving at the ends of the shoots of lush loose inflorescences of blue, lilac or white. It is possible to propagate such a plectranthe by layering or cuttings. In Russia, it is imperative to have a shelter for the winter and pruning of the shoots so that the growth will mature well to cold weather.

The Plectranthus oertendahlii plectrum species is a rather small indoor plant whose shoots do not grow longer than 50 cm and have a creeping appearance. The leaves presented in the photo of homemade mint have a rounded ovoid shape and unusual color. The overall tone of the foliage is dark green, and the veinlets are noticeably lighter. The flowers of this culture are white or with a barely visible lilac shade, small, gathered in apical loose inflorescences.

Plectranthus verticillatus or whorping plectranthus has smooth, ovate leaves of a light green color. In this case, the stems and even leaf stalks are purple or purple. Flowering is accompanied by the appearance of white flowers, decorated with burgundy or lilac specks inside the corolla.

One of the most mint-like species of plectranthus is a variety of Plectranthus madagascariensis. Small, up to 1 meter in height, a shrub with creeping or creeping shoots is grown as an ampelous plant and is well tolerated in gardens in the European part of the country.

Plectranthus hybrid "Mona Lavender" is an amazingly beautiful hybrid form. As can be seen in the photo, the home mint of this species has upright shoots that form a compact shrub up to 50 cm in height. The leaves have jagged notches along the edge. Blossom is abundant, very attractive. Separate flowers, like lavender, beautiful lilac shade. Leaves up to 5 cm long have a dense green or even purple color, which is more common on young foliage.

How to grow mint at home - video

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