The scientific name for the genus of mint plants is Mentha. Each distinct species of mint has its own scientific name. Peppermint's scientific name, for example, is Mentha piperita, while Mentha spicata is spearmint.
Mentha piperita citrata refers to orange mint, Mentha suaveolens is apple mint, and Mentha suaveolens variegata is pineapple mint. Most plants in the Mentha genus are hardy perennials that grow vigorously in sun or partial shade. Because they tend to spread enthusiastically, Better Homes and Gardens suggests that it is best to grow mint plants in containers. If sown outdoors, seeds should be started in late spring or first planted indoors about eight weeks before the last frost.