Thursday, 9 April 2009

Pineapple Mint

Gecko left a comment the other day and asked for more info on Pineapple Mint. As it is a new plant for me too I decided to look up more details about it...I became somewhat confused...but here is some info on it and the other mints I grow.
The botanical names that I have used for these plants are the ones that came with the plants when I purchased them and may differ from plant names in your region.

Green Loopers Love Mint!

Pineapple Mint

The label on the plant I bought only had Mentha sp on it. A quick Google search seems to suggest it should be Mentha suaveolens variegata which would indicate some variegation...this one is not variegated (BUT this is the name on the tag of my variegated Applemint!). Another site had it listed as Mentha rotundifolia 'Variegata'. Confusion! confused

Anyway it is said to closely resemble Applemint but the smell of this Pineapplemint is much sweeter.
I don't always 'get' the smells of plants/herbs but this one does have a very pineapply smell about it.
It will be interesting to taste it later as it is supposed to be great added to salads and said to make the best Mint Sauce for serving with lamb..

If it is as hardy as other mints it should survive here OK but I do prefer to keep my mints in containers. Not, as with many folks, to keep them under control but merely to keep them alive during our super hot, harsh summers and freezing cold winters.

I find all the mints to be magnets for Looper Caterpillars though and I am forever picking these strange creatures off the plants before they eat them to defoliation! rolleyes

I like to collect herbs and add this plant to the Mint collection I have:

Egyptian Mint Mentha x villosa said to be the most heat tolerant a strong grower here.
Curled Leaf Mint Mentha spicata var. crispa similar to the common one but with unusual leaf form.
Common Mint Mentha viridis great for general culinary 'Mint' use.
Peppermint Mentha × piperita yummy for tea making.

Variegated Applemint Mentha suaveolens Variegated a less hardy (here) form of the plain. This is often the variety referred to as Pineapplemint but I have two different plants here and this one smells just like apples.
Applemint Mentha suaveolens sweet tasting useful for salads especially fruit salads.
Pineapplemint - the new one for me...used like applemint.
Basil Mint Mentha basilicum is said to be a 'winter Basil substitute' but I don't quite see the connection in flavour!

Pennyroyal Menta pulegium low growing mint good for insect control.
Eau de Cologne Mint Mentha x piperita f. citrata - perfumed variety not used so much for cooking but good for potpouri etc.
Ginger Mint Mentha arvensis syn. M. gentilis - a great looking mint that goes well with chicken.
Lavender Mint Mentha spicata is very similar to the Eau de Cologne mint (I can't differentiate between them)

Moroccan Mint Mentha spicata looks like common mint but is supposed to have subtle extra flavours that I haven't noticed yet! This mint is the biggest magnet for Loopers yet!

I need to replace my Chocolate Mint Mentha piperita var. because Luckydog thought the pot it was growing in would make a great hiding place for her favourite bone last week! eek

Some useful links about Mints:
Honeysuckle Cottage - Cool Mints
The Herb Guide


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