Corsican mint is an aromatic groundcover in the mint family native to the Mediterranean. In addition to being used in gardens, Corsican mint is also utilized in cooking, perhaps most famously as the flavoring in creme de menthe. This plant also going by the more formal name of Mentha requienii. Many garden stores carry Corsican mint for people who wish to grow it, and it can also be ordered through garden suppliers; sometimes seeds and divides can also be found for trade on gardening forums.
While you may associate “mint” with large, leafy, upright plants, Corsican mint is in fact quite diminutive, and it hugs the ground, growing out rather than up. The leaves are extremely small, around half the size of a pinky nail, and they are bright green and quite aromatic. In temperate climates, Corsican mint is an evergreen, while in cooler environments, it will die back in the winter, but return in the spring. In the summer, Corsican mint bursts into flower, with tiny blue-purple flowers.
One of the reasons Corsican mint is such a popular groundcover is the smell. The plant has a very rich, heady, minty aroma, and it can be walked on, making it suitable for lining pathways and walks. Walking on Corsican mint releases the strong odor, which some people say smells more like pennyroyal than mint. The scent makes Corsican mint a great addition to a garden with a focus on smells, and it can also repel insect pests from the garden.
This plant grows in USDA zones six through nine, and it prefers shade to partial sun, and lots of water. If Corsican mint is not kept moist, it can die off, because it is very sensitive to drought. However, excessive dampness can cause the leaves to rot, so it is important to strike a balance in the watering schedule. Corsican mint will also grow in full sun, but you should plan on watering it frequently to keep it content.
This groundcover can be grown from seed, but it can also be propagated through division. To divide Corsican mint, simply stick a trowel into a well-established patch in the early spring, when the plant is dormant, and gently cut out a wedge. The plant will spread quite readily in an area it likes, often liberally reseeding itself, and it requires little maintenance.