I really want to replace Mentha
(Mints) with Pycnanthemum
(Mountain Mints) in my annual garden, so I’m trialing three likely candidates this year.
‘Virginia Mountain Mint’
This is one of two Pycnanthemum
species which have an aromatic profile more similar to peppermint than spearmint, as they include significant amounts of menthone. I couldn’t find the other, P. pilosum
, in time for this season.
‘Hoary Mountain Mint’
This seems to be well liked as a spearmint replacement, albeit’s not as strong as P. muticum
. It might be the most aesthetically appealing species, but they’re all fairly similar. It’s considered to be well behaved in the ground, and many choose it over other mints for this reason alone.
‘Blunt Mountain Mint’
This is the strongest smelling of the spearmint-alike Pycnanthemum
. However, they all have a reputation of being “mintier than mint,” so extra strength may not be needed. While they’re all very popular with pollinators, P. muticum
attracts the widest variety. In contrast to P. incanum
, this is the spreadiest Mountain Mint, although still not as bad as Mentha
They all got sown today and set outside to catch what might well be our last frost. They would ideally have spent the winter sown and outside, apparently, but other sources suggest spring sowing is acceptable.