Corsican mint – Mentha requenii – has the aroma very similar to Pennyroyal – Mentha pulegium.
Corsican mint resembles ‘Peace-in-the-home’ in it’s growth habit but isn’t as sensitive. It forms a very neat little ground cover, but it is not hardy enough for traffic. Ideal in between pavers, rockeries, pots, hanging baskets. I find it grows best in semi shade and does like to be moist. Not really an edible mint albeit not poisonous.
Garden Mint – Mentha spicata. This mint has a longer leaf than the Round leaf Spearmint but still has the clean taste of Spearmint. Can be invasive so plant it either in a container or a contained space and split it from time to time, and cut back regularly. Added into salads, sauces, mint sauce, boiling water as when boiling potatoes and peas. Mints like being moist, quite happy in full sun.
Peppermint – Mentha piperita has dark green, almost reddish leaves and is a ground cover. It has a very distinct aroma and taste of peppermint (as in toothpaste!) It is used for flavouring culinary dishes and is also extremely medicinal, either taken as a tea for depression, colds, unblocking sinuses or leaves placed in a bowl of boiling water, place a towel over head and bowl and inhale. Grows very easily, likes water, Happy in full sun.
Eau de Cologne Mint – Mentha x piperita f. citrata. Lighter green leaves, also with a tinge of reddish/orange but leaves are rounder in appearance. Has a distinct aroma of literally ‘Eau de Cologne’ – often nicknamed Lavender or Orange mint. It has a perfumed taste and is used as an infusion in to desserts or simply taken as a tea. Happy in sun, spreads and can grow to 45 cms plus.
Madeira mint – Sometimes called Basil mint. It is of the Mentha species but I am not sure of it’s botanical name as mints to have a habit of hybridising. It is one of my favourites, having a clean spearmint taste and unlike the other varieties of mint, this one happily chugs through the winter months. I add all the spearmint varieties as mentioned above into all sorts of recipes, including couscous.
Chocolate mint – Mentha x piperita ‘Chocolate’ is a tall mint, reaching 60 cms. As with all mints it is invasive so plant where you don’t mind it taking off. Has a distinct taste of Peppermint Crisp and can be used in culinary cuisine in an way you see fit, also taken as a refreshing tea or adding to boiling water to infuse when making lemon cordial.
Round leaved Spearmint – Mentha spicata species. Another of my favourites, can grow to 45 cms plus, depending whether in full sun or partial shade. has the wonderful taste and aroma of the spearmint family and added to all kinds of dishes and drinks is most refreshing.
Calamintha nepeta – not sure of it’s common name other than probably Calamint. This mint is a true landscaping plant in as far as it is not invasive, grows in a clump, dies back in the winter and comes back in the Spring. It has the scent of peppermint again, grows in shade and full sun and in the spring, summer and autumn it never stops flowering with the prettiest, daintiest light blue, almost white flowers. Can be used for teas and as a culinary plant or in salads. Reaches a height of 45 cms in full sun and 60 cms in shade
Apple mint = Mentha suaveolens. An upright mint reaching a height of sometimes 80cms. Has furry, light grey green round soft leaves and has a spearminty apple aroma and taste. As with all the above, does spread, has to be cut back regularly and split up if necessary. Used as a drink, in drinks and in all kinds of hot and cold dishes.
Catmint – Nepeta mussinii. A low growing small shrub, 40 cms, with small grey green leaves and a mass of spires of blue flowers. Excellent landscaping mint, does self seed, but nicely so. Some cats are attracted to this mint but more so to Catnip. Is used medicinally as a diaphoretic, induces fevers to break and also as a gentle calming tea. Used as edge of borders, rockeries, pots, under roses, it is very pretty.
Pennyroyal – Mentha pulegium. Pennyroyal is often used as a ground cover between pavers and does a very good, quick job in covering, added to the fact that it has a gorgeous minty aroma when walking upon it. It flowers in the summer with upright purple spires of which after flowering can be trimmed or mown.