What Are the Different Kinds of Mint Plants?

Different types of mint plants include peppermint, spearmint and apple mint. Other types of mint are lemon mint and chocolate mint. Catmint is not a true mint as it's in the species Nepeta instead of Mentha, but it is used as a mint.

Spearmint is native to the Mediterranean and was given as a symbol of hospitality and wisdom. The Romans brought the plant to their colonies in Britain, and English colonials brought the plant to North America. Spearmint gets its classically minty aroma from carvone, a volatile oil.

Mints interbreed easily with one another, and many types of mint are actually hybrids of peppermint, even as peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. Peppermint has been known since the mid-18th century and has an unmistakable fragrance and taste. It's favored in cooking and is used medicinally. It is taken in various forms to ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, vomiting and excess mucous.

Apple mint isn't a hybrid of peppermint, but is prized for its delicious apple smell. It has large, round, woolly leaves. Lemon mint has a refreshing citrus smell, and chocolate mint smells like chocolate.

Mint plants grow well in full sun or partial shade, though they do best in fertile soil that is moist but well-drained.