Plants for Herbal Teas II

menthacandypiperita (300x299)Mentha x piperita ‘Candymint’ – This variety of Peppermint has a very strong sweet taste, giving it an almost candy-like quality. It has distinct reddish-tinged new growth (or veining) and stems, with the leaves maturing to a bright green. ‘Candymint’ makes a very refreshing tea but should be used with moderation, as it is quite potent. Grows 12-18″ high by 18″+ wide. Zone 4.

chamomileroman (294x300)Chamaemelum nobile (syn. Anthemis nobilis) – Roman Chamomile is a hardy perennial that forms a dense mat and can be grown as a lawn substitute. The ferny green foliage is quite aromatic when bruised and it bears small white daisies with a contrasting yellow eye in summer. Flowers are used for a calming tea and hair dye. Grows 6-8″ high by 6-12″ wide. Zone 4.

melissaaurea (300x286)Melissa officinalis ‘Aurea’ (syn. ‘Variegata’) – This variegated form of Lemon Balm features irregular gold splashes on the green foliage and white summer flowers. Being a member of the Mint family, it does spread rather aggressively by underground rhizomes and might be best grown in a large pot. It makes an excellent hot lemon tea. Grows 18-30″ high by 30″+. Zone 4.

chamomilegerman (296x300)Matricaria recutita (syn. Matricaria chamomilla) – German Chamomile is an annual herb that is considered to be the best or more potent Chamomile, as it has a higher percentage of the active ingredient chamazulene. It is native to much of Europe and temperate Asia, producing tiny white daisies that are picked and dried for tea. Grows 18 to 24″ high. Self-seeding annual.

mintricola (292x300)Mentha spicata ‘Swiss’ (syn. Mentha x piperita ‘Swiss’) – Swiss or Ricola Mint is used to make those famous herbal cough candies and can be brewed as a refreshing medicinal tea. I find it listed as both a Peppermint and Spearmint, depending on the supplier. Like most mints it is a vigorous spreader and should be grown where it can be contained. Grows 18-24″ high by 24″+ wide. Zone 5.

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