I've lived in my house for 14 years and every year we get this plant that is minty sort of smell. we've always just called it mint, but I'm unsure. I am wanting to actually use it (since i can't get rid of it, no matter what I do). But want a positive ID before i go ahead.

The stems are boxy, no needles, are very fragrant, cant get rid of it.

Plant with mint-like leaves

Cut stems of the plant showing hollow structure

  • 2
    If it smells like mint and you can't get rid of it, it's probably mint. Mint is notorious, you can't get rid of it once you planted it. Many advice therefore to keep them in pots only. What kind of mint it is, is hard to tell. There are many different species and hybrids (like peppermint), hard to tell from just the leaves.
    – benn
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 10:01

2 Answers 2


The standard test for mint is to crush a leaf between thumb and index finger and smell it.

The standard test for toxicity is:

  • Crush a leaf and rub it into a sensitive area of the body, e.g. the inside of the elbow
  • if no negative(irritant) reaction occurs for several hours chew a few leaves and spit them out
  • if no negative reaction occurs for several hours chew several leaves and swallow them
  • if no negative reaction occurs for several hours the plant is probably safe to eat raw.

Some plants are toxic raw but not when cooked. Bottom line: be somewhat careful but use the herb and decide if you like it's effect on the food.


Square stems, smells like mint, opposite leaves, it's mint.

The name "wild mint" is usually attributed to Mentha arvensis. This appears to be some kind of hybrid.

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