Source: Magness et al. 1971
The various kinds of mint are so similar in plant and culture that they can be discussed together. They differ in the flavor of the oil. All are perenial herbs, with near square stems and opposite, simple leaves. Leaves are 2 to 3 inches in length, entire and near glabrous in the more important peppermint and spearmint. Plants are semi-prostrate except flower stems, which reach 2 feet. They are grown for the volatile aromatic oil, present in all parts. They are propagated by planting underground stems or rhizomes, and form a complete ground cover by the second season. Tops are mowed and the oil distilled off immediately. Under best growing conditions 2 or 3 cuttings can be made per season. Plantings last for 3 or more years.
Production in the U.S. : About 75,000 acres all mints; about 2,160 tons oil.
Use: In candies, chewing gum, cookery, drinks.
Part of plant consumed: All tops distilled for oil; leaves used for flavoring.