Like most people we have had mint ‘at the bottom of the garden’ for as long as I can remember. We started collecting mints in the late 1980’s. In those days there was no ‘plant finder’ nor did we have a
computer, so locating rare plants was very difficult.
Mint is a fascinating plant; usually the scientific name of a plant variety is a fairly reliable means of identification, but the scientific names of various mints are as unreliable as the common names. There
are no authentification text books other than the most basic ‘species flora’, and even then, the scientists change the naming criteria every few years. Even DNA is not a reliable means of identification, as plants with different DNA can appear identical, and plants with the same DNA
can be completely different! To confuse matters more, mint can change its physical appearance even more often than my wife changes her hair style, making mint (Mentha) one of the most challenging and fascinating of genera.