Mint Varieties

I have become a Mint connoisseur, which I enjoy growing.  Here is a comprehensive mint variety list, comparison and review of a great number of mint varieties.

Each mint will have a description of the mint plant as well as scores on several properties of the mint.

Overall Mintyness- 1 being no mint flavor, 5 being very minty

Similarity to name- (example: if it is orange mint, how orangey is it?) 1 is no similarity at all, 5 is very similar

Assertiveness- 1 is very little runners and spread, 5 thrives and wants to be everywhere

Height- 1 is very low growing, 5 is tall

Striking appearance- 1 is very common, 5 is interesting and unique

 

Sweet Mint

Sweet Mint

Sweet Mint 1- Started from seed, package just labeled as “mint”

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- NA

Assertiveness- 3

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: This is a common mint with nothing special about it.

Sweet Mint 2

Sweet Mint 2

Sweet Mint 2- From bonnie plants purchased at a home improvement store

Overall Mintyness- 5

Similarity to name- NA

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 4

Comments: The leaves are a very bright green and each one is textured so it is a nice addition to a garden.  It is a very bright flavored mint and nice to have around for basic cooking needs.  It spreads quite well.  The one I have is a cutting from a neighbor.  I was able to make 5 to 4 cuttings from a very small plant.  It has filled a 4” by 24” pot by the end of May with very small plants this spring.  Cutting it makes it seem to grow more.

Peppermint

Peppermint

Peppermint- from my father’s garden.  These are the bits that tried to make a run for it through a cracked pot

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- NA

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 3

Comments:  The leaf shape and texture is OK, but it has an almost purple hue to the leaves so it is a good color addition to a foliage garden.  It filled a 4” by 24” pot with the pieces we pulled from my father’s garden this spring AFTER he already pulled the majority of the runaway runners out earlier.  The pot it was buried in cracked and the mint made a run for it.

Mojhito

Mojito

Mojito Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- 5

Assertiveness-1

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 4

Comments:  According to the tag only true Mojitos can be made with mojito mint.  It has very large very bright green textured leaves.  It is a very attractive mint.  Cuttings root in water very well but so far I have no visible runners.   It is a very mild, sweet mint with a bunch of citrus over tones and can be almost bitter in taste.

Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint- From bonnie plants purchased at a home improvement store

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- 5

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 1

Comments:  This tastes like Andes after dinner mints, and has what I refer to as the “wow” factor that a lot of the mints lack.  Orange mint- doesn’t taste like orange to me at all.   But chocolate mint you can’t mistake or miss what it is supposed to be but it is still defiantly a mint.

Orange Mint

Orange Mint

Orange mint- From bonnie plants purchased at a home improvement store

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name- 1

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 2

Comments: The leaves are more rounded than most other mints and if in an area that gets almost too much afternoon sun it will blush a nice burgundy hue.  I can’t tell any citrusy hints in this mint at all, and when I asked a group of five during a mint tasting they couldn’t tell it was suppose to be Orange either.

Pineapple Mint

Pineapple Mint

Pineapple Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name- 4

Assertiveness- 1

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 5

Comments: I don’t particularly like the pineapple and mint combination.  I don’t particularly like pineapple.  However, the white edging to the mint leaves more than makes up for this failing.  It is a beautiful addition to your mint garden that you could grow for appearance alone.  So far it has not sent out any runners that I can see, so it is not as aggressively spreading as some.

Berries and Cream

Berries and Cream

Berries and cream Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name- 1

Assertiveness- 5

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: The leaves are nothing special, the mint flavor is very, very mild (I think the name berries and cream comes from the idea that it is a mild mint to enhance deserts with  berries with a little mint, that isn’t over powering).  This is the most aggressive mint I have ever seen.  I have a hard time keeping it in its half of the container.  Not only does it have runners but those runners root faster and sprout full sized plants faster than I have ever seen.  You want a ground cover mint- go with this one.  I mean it, I feel like I have to go at it with an ax to keep it where it should be.  And NEVER, EVER plant this in the ground, even in a pot in the ground if you don’t want it everywhere.  The runners run along the top of the soil so a pot won’t stop this bad boy.

Lemon Mint

Lemon Mint

Lemon Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name-4

Assertiveness- 3

Height- 2

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: This is not to be confused with Lemon Balm- I did for a little while, since they are both in the same plant family.  The leaves are unremarkable and the flavor while lemony doesn’t seem to shock people.  Mint and lemon make a wonderful flavor combination so I can see a lot of culinary opportunities for this.  There are a few runners already this year, but it just seems like the normal mint level of assertiveness.   It makes a nice tea.

Candy Pops Mint

Candy Pops Mint

Candy Pops Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name- Unknown

Assertiveness- 1

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 5- we hope

Comments: This mint was  not breed for its flavor or aroma.  It was breed because the flowers do not bloom in a spike but in a ball.  I have finally seen it bloom.  Yes, it blooms in balls, but the mint flowers are not striking enough to make ball shaped blooms desirable enough to purchase from a far.  It has not sent out any visible runners.  Young leaves are very fuzzy, but they lose some of that as they grow.

Fruit Sorbet Mint

Fruit Sorbet Mint

Fruit Sorbet Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 1

Similarity to name- 1

Assertiveness-1

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 2

Comments:  This mint is very nondescript.  The name comes from the idea that it is a mild mint to enhance deserts with  fruit  with a little mint, that isn’t over powering.   This might be true, but in all other regards this mint doesn’t have anything exciting enough about it to recommend it.  I want a mint that people smell or taste and say – wow!- or “my goodness”.  I want a pretty mint that adds texture, height, or color to the garden.  I want a mint that I can propagate or fill a container with.  Finally, it has some of the red and purple highlights that made it so attractive to purchase, but I had to wait until mid August.  Because of that I have bumped the appearance up to a 2.

 

Iced Hazelnut

Iced Hazelnut

Iced Hazelnut Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 4

Similarity to name- 5

Assertiveness- 2

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 3

Comments:  This is a “wow!” mint.  I think it smells and tastes like an iced minty coffee drink.  It is just amazing and it is my second favorite mint.  The leaves are a deep rich green with a little curl to them so they are very nice in appearance.  They are still minty but they have a coffee, hazel nutty tones that are front and center instead of an under tone.  I just can’t say enough about this mint.  I love it!  Unfortunately it has sent out only one runner, and that one has not sprouted yet, so it does not spread quickly.

Sweet Pear Mint

Sweet Pear Mint

Sweet Pear Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name- 4

Assertiveness- 1

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: This does have a lot of pear scent.  It has little  mint tones, so this might be a great desert and fruit mint as well.  It has not sent out any runners and does not spread quickly.  The leaves are not very remarkable in appearance.

 

Ginger Mint

Ginger Mint

Ginger Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name-5

Assertiveness-2

Height- 1

Striking appearance- 1

Comments: When I purchased this the picture had yellow centers to all the leaves.  I have yet to see that.  I was told the plant needed to “mature” so maybe I will see it in the fall when the leaves change, but some never have yellow.   It is very gingery, so that is a plus.  It is so gingery and not very minty that this plant has pest problems the neighbors that are more minty do not.

Lime Mint

Lime Mint

Lime Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 2

Similarity to name-2

Assertiveness-3

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 5

Comments:  The leaves are very large and glossy with lots of red hues to them.  I can’t taste the lime in these until a little while later on my lips if I lick them.  However, I find the plant so appealing that I don’t care about the rest.  It has sent out some runners so it does have the growth that usual mints have.  They do not have a pest problem.

Curly Mint

Curly Mint

Curly Mint- Found growing wild in an alley.

Overall Mintyness- 5

Similarity to name-5

Assertiveness-5

Height- 5

Striking appearance- 4

Comments: I found this in an alley behind a middle eastern restaurant.  I don’t know if it was a volunteer from the middle eastern cooking or planted intentionally, but it had spread enough that no one was going to notice if I dug up a little and took it home.  I am only assuming it is curly mint based on the appearance and a nice Google search.   It is very minty without becoming bitter tasting as so many of the “citrus” ones tend to do.

Grapefruit Mint

Grapefruit Mint

Grapefruit Mint- From bonnie plants purchased at a home improvement store

Overall Mintyness- 4

Similarity to name- 4

Assertiveness- 3

Height- 4

Striking appearance- 4

Comments: This plant has a lot to recommend it.  The leaves are rounded with a curly jagged quality that I really find attractive.  It is still a very minty mint, but the grapefruit is really apparent.  It is a tall plant so it isn’t dwarfed easily and it has several runners that make it easy to fill its space and propagate.  I think that this is a good quality mint to keep around for a variety of culinary and aesthetic purposes.

Julep Mint

Julep Mint

Julep Mint- Purchased from a local nursery, Gethsemane in Chicago, IL.

Overall Mintyness- 5

Similarity to name- 5

Assertiveness- 4

Height- 5

Striking appearance- 3

Comments: This is a very tall mint plant and the leaves smell just like spearmint gum- very sweet without any bitterness at all.  It spreads rapidly and the runners root well.  Overall, if you have to choose one mint for your garden for your culinary needs, I would choose this one.

Marshmallow Mint

Marshmallow Mint

Marshmallow Mint-  a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 3

Similarity to name-1

Assertiveness-Unknown at this time

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 2

Comments: This mint doesn’t have anything striking about it to recommend it.  I do not think it smells like marshmallows.  This mint did not survive the winter, all the other mints did.

 

 

Brittney Mint Patty

Brittney Mint Patty

Britney Mint Patty Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 4

Similarity to name-2

Assertiveness- Unknown

Height-  3

Striking appearance- 2

Comments: This mint doesn’t have anything obviously striking to recommend it.

 

Wintergreen Mint

Wintergreen Mint

Wintergreen Mint- a Jim Westerfield hybrid

Overall Mintyness- 4

Similarity to name- 2

Assertiveness- Unknown

Height- 3

Striking appearance- 3

Comments: The color was unusually bright green and the leaves are fuzzy when it arrived.  It has since lost all of its uniqueness.

 

5 thoughts on “Mint Varieties

  1. Cheers!

    Ginger mint is not a Westerfield hybrid. It’s a old cultivar from Europe which has viruses that make the leaves turn goldish(too much light stops this process – or heat). There are 2 Ginger mints. One like yours and one is like “orange” and “lime” mints in your collection. Actually they are the same species. But Mentha gracilis “Ginger”(yours) smells more like ginger than the other one. The other one is a very sweet version of “orange” mint.

    Nice collection though. Can’t wait to put my hands on Iced Hazelnut.

    Keep that collection growing!
    Steven

  2. The word “orange” in orange mint doesn’t refer to the usual edible orange, like a navel orange, but to the bergamot orange, which is quite different. It has a very fragrant rind used to make colognes, and also to scent Earl Grey tea. I think orange mint smells quite similar to Earl Grey or to some men’s colognes.

    Thanks for the reviews. You inspired me to order some Iced Hazelnut mint.

  3. Thank you for this. I enjoyed reading it. I’m becoming a bit obsessed with the various varieties of mint myself. A local nursery had a strawberry mint that is amazing. I think you would like it. LOL

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