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Identification of the Mint Plant

Identification of the Mint Plant

Identification of the Mint Plant. Mint grows easily as a garden herb or as a wild plant. The name mint usually brings to mind a uniquely fresh smelling and tasting ingredient, used as flavoring for foods, teas and candies. Several other types of plants, however, belong to the mint family, including horehound and thyme. All plants in the mint...

Mint grows easily as a garden herb or as a wild plant. The name mint usually brings to mind a uniquely fresh smelling and tasting ingredient, used as flavoring for foods, teas and candies. Several other types of plants, however, belong to the mint family, including horehound and thyme. All plants in the mint family have some characteristics in common, and they will help you identify mint plants.
Crush one leaf between your fingers to release the plant's scent. Mint plants, such as spearmint and peppermint, will have that fresh scent unique to those mints. Other plants in the mint family, such as basil and thyme, will also give off strong aromas when crushed this way.
Look at the plant's stem. A mint plant stem will be square, rather than round.
Observe the flowers, if the plant is flowering. Plants in the mint family have pink, purple or white clusters of flowers. Spearmint has white flowers that grow in spikes. Peppermint has clusters of purple flowers that grow in spikes.
Tips & Warnings
Do not eat a plant you think is mint unless you are certain it is in the mint family. If it smells like mint, chances are it is--but unless you know for sure, be safe.

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