November 1, 2011

Lemon balm, mint or something else? Your help needed...

I was given this plant with the information that people call it "melissa mint". I have researched and tried to identify it, but with no real result. I think it's nor mint, either lemon balm. But what is it? Do you know it? I will appreciate your help... Leaves are thick, plant is very vigorous, does not survive outdoor in the zone 6... any idea?



16 comments:

Darla said...

Melissa officinalis ?

kate said...

I don't think it is mint or lemon balm - the leaves look too fleshy and thick. Try Cuban oregano (Plectanthis oregana) and see if the images of that match what you have.

Ewa said...

Darla, M. officinalis has much smaller and thinner leaves, than that plant.

Ewa said...

Kate, I googled images of cuban oregano and it gives confusing results. Some of the photos looks my plant, some have round and smaller leaves...
but search led me to Indian borage (Plectranthus amboinicus) - it looks very similar!
but
It says also, that "Common names include Cuban oregano, Spanish thyme, Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), Indian Borage, Húng chanh (Vietnam), Big Thyme (Grenada) Mexican thyme, Mexican mint, Queen of herbs, three-in-one herb, allherb and Mother of herbs"

so? what do you think?

Bridget said...

Looks like some type of Mint to me.

Ewa said...

It is either Coleus amboinicus or Plectranthus amboinicus - not sure.
Not mint. Origanum/Thyme.

Nicole said...

Ewa, its definitely Cuban Oregano, Plectranthus amboinicus, which is a synonym of Coleus amboinicu. So you are right in your last two posts.

Used especially to season fish and meat, and also a small amount in stews. It is an important ingredient in "Green Seasoning" used in the West Indies.

Darla said...

Does is have a fragrance when you rub the leaves?

Ewa said...

Darla, yes it smells like origan with some mint (really)
:)

Garden Girl said...

Definitely Cuban oregano.

raghavan said...

It looks like Oregano,from mint family,leaves when crushed smells good, leaves thick, hairy stem, It is used as spice & has many medicinal properties & hence called 'all heal'
Raghavan

il cespuglio delle merafoglie emanuela vanda said...

I guess you solved the problem by now! anyway to me
it looks like Plectranthus,
its smell should be some how similar to incence and when you touch it it feels thick but you can brake it very easily, it is fragile at the junctions

Dr. Bumble bee said...

It's CATNIP. You're welcome. =)

Dr. Bumble bee said...

It's CATNIP. You're welcome. =)

Blondie said...

It is Mother of Herbs, Mother of All Herbs,Queen of Herbs, Five in One Herb, Five Seasons Herb, Allherb, Country Borage, Indian Borage, Five Spice Herb,
Great in chicken stock for a gravy base or any dish that requires mixed herbs. I grew up with my mother using this yet not many people are aware of it these days.

Ewa said...

Hey Blondie, I wonder how your Mom was using it, for what kind of meals?

KEEP READING - MORE GREAT STUFF IN OLDER POSTS