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Food Worth Growing: Mountain Mint

Although Mountain mint, also known by the botanical name Pycanthemum, is not a true mint, it is a related genus in the same family. The genus Pyncanthemum consists of approximately 20 species. All species are native to the Northeastern North America.
Some species of Mountain Mint, identifiable by their thin leaves, are edible. The wide-leaved species are inedible due to high levels of pulegone, a liver toxin.
Mountain Mint is also useful for attracting pollinators. In mid-late summer the flowers bloom, attracting bees and butterflies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mountain mint has different species, some are edible. The edible species has great medicinal qualities.
  • It is possible to dry mountain mint and use the leaves for different purposes, such as preparing homemade tea from it or homemade bath products as well.
  • Mountain mint can be grown either from seed or in a container. These plants will survive in low temperatures, different soils and light exposure levels, though the plant prefers full exposure to sun.

“There, among many common vegetable garden and herb plants — your basic dill, carrots, hybrid tomatoes, etc — I found a packet of something I had never seen before.”

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