Published on May 16, 2020

Mint Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

Mentha is also known as mint is a member of the family Lamiaceae and is a flowering plant. Only rough estimate about the total number of species is known. It is believed that about 13-18 species are known. Hybridization is known to occur naturally in some species. Many cultivated as well as hybrid varieties are known which are used commercially. Mentha have a subcosmopolitan distribution and is widely distributed across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America. Mints are generally aromatic, exclusively perennial, rarely annual herbs. The word mint has been derived from a Latin word.

The plant is characterized by the presence of underground and over ground stolons with erect, square and branched stems. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs and may be oblong to lanceolate and with a serrated margin. The colour of the leaf may range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow. The flowers are white to purple in colour and are borne in false whorls known as verticillasters. The corolla bears two lips with four subequal lobes. The upper lobe is generally the largest. The fruit is a small dry capsule bearing one to four seeds. The species that comprise the genus Mentha can be easily found in different environments but majority of the species prefer wet and moist soils. Mints attain a length of 10-120 cm and can spread over an indeterminate area. Due to their tendency to spread rapidly over an area they are considered invasive.

All mints prefer to thrive in moist, cool places with considerable shades. They are able to tolerate fluctuations in temperature and can also grow in sun. They are fast growers and spread over an area very soon by the network of runners. Some mint species are more invasive as compared to others. Mints require less care. They can be propagated by seeds. Generally plant cuttings are used for effective cultivation of mints. The most popular mint varieties used for cultivation are peppermint, applemint and spearmint. Mint plants are thought to be good companion plants as they repel pests and predators and attract the beneficial ones. They are susceptible to be attacked by white flies and aphids. Harvesting of mints can be done any time. The leaves should be kept in plastic bags or refrigerated. They can be frozen in ice cube trays. Dried mint leaves should be stored in an airtight container placed in a cool, dark, dry area.


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