Often, mint is used as a garnish, but it is equally enjoyable when eaten and many varieties are valued for their oils. Each type of mint has its own distinctive flavouring and the plants are usually easy to grow. Most mints are named after their flavours.
Peppermint has purple-tinged green leaves. Peppermint is the most commonly grown variety of mint because of its oil.
Spearmint has small pink or pale purple flowers and can grow as high as two feet. The leaves are a vibrant green, pointed and smooth. It is easy to grow, particularly in moist soil, but it can be damaged by Rush disease, which attacks it internally.
Wild mint feels hairy and has leaves that are oval. Flowers usually bloom near the top leaves and the plant grows 12 to 18 inches high.
Unlike other varieties of mint, Corn mint grows in areas that are not sufficiently moist and may damage the scent of peppermint if grown near it. Corn mint grows close to the ground, but has flowering stalks that grow up to a foot high. The dense leaves are very hairy and have a strong scent.
Lemon mint has a citrusy scent commonly used in teas, but it may smell similar to oregano before it is broken from the stalk. It has impressive purple flowers that attract pollinators.