CORN MINT

JAPANESE MINT

Mentha arvensis

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]  

month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8lilac
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZclustered
type
typeZtieredwhorls
stem
stem8square
sex
sexZbisexual

3rd Sept 2004, Little Langdale Valley, Lake District Photo: © RWD
Stems decumbent or erect, growing to 60cm in length.


3rd Sept 2004, Little Langdale Valley, Lake District Photo: © RWD
Leaves ovate and with a linear taper to the short stalk


3rd Sept 2004, Little Langdale Valley, Lake District Photo: © RWD


3rd Sept 2004, Little Langdale Valley, Lake District Photo: © RWD


11th Aug 2018, waste field, Maghull, Liverpool. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in whorls at the axils of the leaves. The stems are terminated by leaves, and not by a whorl of flowers. There are usually greater than 6 flowers in each whorl.


11th Aug 2018, waste field, Maghull, Liverpool. Photo: © RWD
The plant is very hairy. The leaves have very short teeth which are blunt.


11th Aug 2018, waste field, Maghull, Liverpool. Photo: © RWD
Calyx tube green, 1.5 to 2.5mm long, hairy all over with triangular teeth which are less or equal to than 0.5mm long and all equal in length.


11th Aug 2018, waste field, Maghull, Liverpool. Photo: © RWD
Corolla is lilac coloured. The calyx is without hairs in its throat (if only you could see it...)


Easily confused with : Whorled Mint.

Hybridizes with :

  • Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) to produce Whorled Mint (Mentha × verticillata)
  • Spear Mint (Mentha spicata) to produce Bushy Mint (Mentha × gracilis)

Some similarities to other mints.

The aroma of the plant is generally not as nice as other more famous mints, some regard it as sickly wh

It also contains Sitosterol Sucroside, a glycosidic phytosteroid which is found in most plants, MenthoFuroLactone, as well as toxins.

Another source describes percentages (rounded to the nearest 0.1%) as:
89% Menthol, 4.4% IsoMenthone, 2.1% Menthone, 1.6% Pulegone, 1% CarvotanaAcetone, 0.8% 3-Octanol, 0.59% Limonene, 0.6% neo-IsoPulegol, 0.5% β-Caryophyllene. Some of these ingredients may well contribute to its less than nice reported odour, whilst others may also be toxic.

MONOTERPENOIDS


The chemical, Menthol, a typical terpene, and Menthone, a ketone terpenoid which are the main aroma compounds in oil of peppermint which is prepared by distillation of the flowers of Corn Mint. Corn Mint also contains Menthyl Acetate, an ester. It is used in some toothpastes (others might use oil of spearmint where the dominant aromatic compound is Carvone).

Menthone is a monoterpenoid with a minty flavour and odour. It occurs in the essential oils of a number of plants such as Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Corn Mint, Pelargonium geraniums and Ground-Ivy (Glechoma hederaceae). There are 4 possible stereoisomers of it, but just one of those is is the most abundant in nature. Menthone is used for flavouring and in perfume and other cosmetics.

IsoMenthone is one of the four possible stereoisomers of Menthone and it too is found in Corn Mint.



Pulegone is another para-menthane monoterpenoids and is found in several plants such as Catnip (Nepeta cataria) and Pennyroyal (Mentha piperita) and has a pleasant smell like that of not only Pennyroyal, Horse Mint (Mentha longifolia) and Peppermint but also of Camphor! It too is used in flavouring, cosmetics and perfumery. It is reported to be toxic to rats and is also the most effective of three insecticides which occur in many species of mint, Mentha.

trans-IsoPulegone is yet another para-menthane monoterpenoids; the other menthanes (ortho-menthane and meta-menthane) are much rarer.

CarvotanAcetone (or at least the (R)- stereoisomer of it) (aka CyproSterone Acetate or Androcur) is found in the cells of humans where it performs some function unknown to your Author, as he is not a biologist. It belongs to a class of compounds called Menthane monoterpenoids. CarvotanAcetone not only occurs in Corn Mint, but also in Dill and Lovage



Carvone exists in two different stereoisiomers which smell completely different to each other. The first, (R)-Carvone is the one found in Spearmint and Corn Mint and smells of peppermint; whereas (S)-Carvone is found in Caraway and smells accordingly.

With animals (and all other creatures) being constructed from chiral molecules, it is then perhaps no surprise that another chiral molecule (Carvone in this instance), smells completely differently depending upon which chiral form, (R)-Carvone, or (S)-Carvone, is presented to the smell sensors. This is not a unique occurrence, many molecules work completely differently in humans (and other creatures) depending on the exact stereoisometric form present. Sometimes one stereoisometric form will work as intended whilst the other form is toxic.

A FUROLACTONE

MenthoFuroLactone has parallels with Menthofuran, which is found in Spear Mint. MenthoFuran is hepatotoxic and can damage the liver and it is reasonable to assume that MenthoFuroLactone is similarly toxic.



  Mentha arvensis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Lamiaceae  

Distribution
family8mint family8Dead-Nettle family8Labiatea family8Lamiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Mentha
Mentha
(Mints)

CORN MINT

JAPANESE MINT

Mentha arvensis

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]  

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