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help ID this mint type plant

 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
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Hello,

I was given this plant by a gardener who thought it was lemon balm. However, I have some lemon balm, and it does not look or smell quite like that. It is definitely a mint of some sort. (In the broad sense.)

Here are some pictures attached. They are not very good, since the light was poor.
good-flower-picture.jpg
[Thumbnail for good-flower-picture.jpg]
good-flower-picture-2.jpg
[Thumbnail for good-flower-picture-2.jpg]
good-leaf-picture.jpg
[Thumbnail for good-leaf-picture.jpg]
 
Posts: 7056
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I can't see very well on my screen.....I think it looks a bit like catnip though. Mine has a paler flower. what does it smell like when crushed?
The leaves on catnip seem softer than some other mints and a pale green.
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Judith Browning wrote: it looks a bit like catnip


Me too. Is it quite pungent, in a way that makes you not want to eat it?
 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
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Location: Denver, CO
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Hello,

it is quite pungent, but I think the smell is pleasant, rather minty. No hint of lemon. It is a very tall plant, a magnet for bees, and has thick stems, reddish at the base.

Here is a better photo of a flower and a leaf. If the color does not come through, the flowers are a pale purple.

good-image.jpg
[Thumbnail for good-image.jpg]
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Hi... Gilbert......I'll take this picture down in a bit so it doesn't interfere with your thread........I just thought i would post a picture of our catnip for comparison..........and to rule it out or in. I'm not good at describing smells....pungent and with a minty edge might be it.
catnip-001.jpg
[Thumbnail for catnip-001.jpg]
 
gardener
Posts: 838
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
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Duane Hennon: it does have square stems, but the flowers are too light and spread out to be anise hyssop.

Judith Browning, thanks for the picture. As far as I can tell, the flowers are a perfect match. And the leaves are that color and have those teeth along the edge. However, they are a little narrower and more pointed then in your picture. Do you suppose that could be a regional variation or a different variety?

Smell is so subjective and variable that I really can't say what is smells like exactly, but definitely minty.

As I have heard, the mint family is quite variable, and the species in it are fluid, so maybe we can't get an exact ID.

But if anybody else has any other comments I would be glad to hear them!
 
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