Plant Database forum: Mint confusion

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 8, 2014 2:43 PM CST
I recently purchased an orange mint. I had one previously that I forgot to water and it died (who knew one could kill a mint...) My older mint was labeled Mentha x piperita 'Orange' which makes sense to me. This one is labeled Mentha aquatica with no cultivar. This is confusing to me. I previously also had a Mentha aquatica which lived for several years as a marginal plant in a small pond (the neighbor puppy recently relocated that one so it's a goner too...) I've emailed the grower asking for clarification and am awaiting their response. Meanwhile, thought I'd check in here. Has anyone else had an orange mint labeled aquatica? The growing directions make no note of it being a marginal plant, just gives the light/height/spacing/zone information. My inclination is to think this is a mislabel and put it under x piperita 'Orange'. Any thoughts?
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
May 8, 2014 3:09 PM CST

Plants Admin

Is it possible that the orange one was Mentha piperita subsp. citrata or Mentha piperita var. citrata? Both of those are now synonyms for Mentha aquatica.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 8, 2014 3:15 PM CST
I no longer have the label for the dead mint, so unsure. I assume Mentha aquatica is a marginal plant, correct?
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
May 8, 2014 4:13 PM CST

Plants Admin

I don't know anything about mints, but Wikipedia says M. aquatica grows in damp places. It also says that the blooms are "pinkish to lilac" and says nothing about orange blooms.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 8, 2014 5:12 PM CST
I don't think the blooms are orange, the leaves just have a bit of an orange scent to them. The M. aquatica I had was clearly a marginal plant, I kept it in a pot submerged in 10" of water year-round. I'll wait to see if the grower can clarify this for me.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
May 8, 2014 6:10 PM CST

Plants Admin

If "Orange" was simply meant to suggest the common name (Orange Mint), then it seems likely that it was Mentha piperita subsp. citrata or Mentha piperita var. citrata, which are now synonyms for M. aquatica, rather than a cultivar of M. piperita named "Orange."
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
May 8, 2014 7:04 PM CST

Plants Admin

Yeah, I noticed at our favorite wholesaler here that they have tons of mints all labeled for their scents, 'orange', 'chocolate', 'grapefruit, 'basil', etc. and they are all M. x piperita so I doubt they are actually cultivar names. There are some real interesting sounding ones; 'Mojito', and 'Swiss Ricola'.
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[Last edited by Calif_Sue - May 8, 2014 7:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
May 8, 2014 7:06 PM CST
OK, thanks, I'll put it under aquatica. These names can certainly be confusing, big thank you to all you admins keeping up with all the changes!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
May 8, 2014 7:07 PM CST

Plants Admin

Swiss Ricola sounds irresistible!

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