Herbs Hands Healing

Pennyroyal leaf

Mentha pulegium

Habitat and appearance: Native to Europe and Asia, and common in Britain. This is the smallest of these three mints and very different in form. It has weak prostrate stems (quadrangular in shape) extending from 5-30cm, which stem down rootlets along its length. The leaves are oval (roundish), grey-green and small. The flowers are in whorled clusters, rising in tiers like a wedding cake at each node (from which spring leaf pairs), from mid-stem to top. They flower in mid-summer, July to August, and are reddish-purple to lilac in colour.

Garden suitability: Pennyroyal in the garden is there at the owner’s risk. All mints spread rapidly, especially if given a slightly moist or even damp-wet situation, although pennyroyal is a little less rampant. To keep the plant in check, plant either in a sunken bucket or behind a small retaining brick wall – well away from other plants, which it will swallow up.