Despite its common name, black mint (Tagetes minuta) is a type of marigold, rather than a true mint (Mentha). It’s isn’t a plant you’d use to line a walkway or dress up a front-yard flowerbed, though. This annual races from seed in spring to a towering 6 to 8 feet (or even higher) by the end of the growing season, with branching stems that carry an abundance of deeply cut green leaves and clusters of small, pale yellow flowers from mid- or late summer to frost. Compared to the quantity of stems and leaves, the flowers are relatively sparse. So why would you grow it? Well, one of my customers recommended that I give it a try one year, and I fell in love with the powerful scent of its leaves and flowers (kind of like regular marigolds, but also fruity and a bit minty, I’d say). It was particularly nice in fresh arrangements and when dried as well. The tall plants made an attractive screen along one side of my vegetable-and-cutting garden too.
I’ll let you research other uses but will give you some clues: various sources refer to its many culinary, beverage, and medicinal uses, as well as its potential benefits for controlling root-creeping perennial weeds (such as bindweed) and harmful soil nematodes. Besides “Mexican marigold”–which makes it easy to confuse with Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida)–this species has a variety of other common names, including huacatay, Peruvian black mint, southern cone marigold, stinking Roger, and wild marigold. Full sun. Annual.
Harvested in November 2020. At least 20 seeds.