Peppermint

Etymology

The botanical name of peppermint, mentha x piperita, looks almost mathematical. It points to the hybrid nature of the plant. Despite its ubiquity, the plant was only discovered in the 17th century, after which it started to be cultivated on a wide scale. Piperita refers to the plant’s pungent, peppery taste.

Mentha x piperita

Characteristics

Plant family Lamiaceae (labiate)
Flowering season July to September
Harvest Herb before buds start to develop: June to July
Signature properties The stolons and stems that provided the basis for the vivid green leaves are red.
Vegetation Moorland or clay-limestone soil, subterranean vegetative propagation; does not grow from a seed

 

Mythology

From a dispute between the Gods

According to Greek legend, the lovestruck god of the underworld, his wife, and a girl torn into pieces are responsible for the creation of peppermint. Minthe was the daughter of the river god Cocytus. Hades, the god of the underworld, was in love with her, which made his wife Persephone so angry that she tore Minthe into pieces. Hades collected the parts and scattered the girl on a mountain. After this time, mint began to grow from the earth.