Plants for Herbal Teas

mintlemon (300x298)Mentha x ‘Hillary’s Sweet Lemon’ – This cross of Apple (Mentha suaveolens) and Lime Mint (M. piperita subsp. citrata) bears attractive lavender bloom spikes. It has a spearmint flavour with a hint of lemon and makes a perfect cup of herbal tea. This cultivar was named after Hillary Clinton and prefers a part to full sun exposure. Grows 18-24″ high. Spread indefinite. Zone 4.

valerian (295x300)Valeriana officinalis – Valerian is a tall perennial that is native to Europe and features compound leaves and pale pink to white summer flowers. Teas made from the dried root have historically been used for calming migraines or a general sedative. Valerian Tea does have several long-term side effects, so consult a doctor before using. Grows 4-6′ high by 20-30″ wide. Hardy to zone 4.

lemonbalmgold (299x300)Melissa officinalis ‘All Gold’ – A golden-leaved Lemon Balm that spreads by rhizomes (not as vigorously as the green form) and should be grown in a container. It is best planted in part sun, with the leaves making a fine hot or cold tea to help you sleep or overcome the flu. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should consult a doctor before using. Grows  12-18″ high. Zone 4.

monardaspecies (291x300)Monarda fistulosa – This Beebalm or Wild Bergamot is a member of the mint family and native to eastern North America. It was brewed as a medicinal tea by indigenous peoples for mouth and throat infections, to aid digestion, as well as a cure for the common cold. Monarda fistulosa bears pink to pale lilac blooms starting midsummer. Attracts hummingbirds. Grows 3-4′ high by 2′. Z3.

mintgingermint (300x291)Mentha x gentilis (syn. Mentha x gracilis, Mentha arvensis ‘Variegata’) – Ginger Mint bears beautiful rich green foliage flecked with gold and has a fruity flavour with a hint of ginger. It is a cross of Mentha arvensis (Field Mint) and Spearmint (M. spicata). The leaves can be used fresh or dried to make a tasty tea. Also works well in fruit salads. Grows 12-28″ high. Z5.

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