Peppermint: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita, also known as M. balsamea) is a hybrid mint of the Lamiaceae family, a cross between watermint and spearmint.

The peppermint plant is an herbaceous rhizomatous perennial that grows up to 30–90 cm (12–35 in) tall. It has smooth stems that are square in cross section. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, and bare fibrous roots.

The leaves are from 4–9 cm (1.6–3.5 in) long and 1.5–4 cm (0.59–1.6 in) broad, dark green with reddish veins, and with an acute apex and coarsely toothed margins. The leaves and stems are usually slightly fuzzy.

The flowers are purple, 6–8 mm (0.24–0.31 in) long, with a four-lobed corolla about 5 mm (0.20 in) diameter; they are produced in whorls around the stem, forming thick, blunt spikes. Flowering is from mid to late summer.

The peppermint plant is fast growing once it sprouts, it spreads very quickly.

common names & nomenclature

Also known as:
peppermint, mentha x piperita, mentha balsamea, brandy mint

Peppermint, the minty fresh mint
Peppermint: Where in the World
habitat and range of peppermint

Peppermint is indigenous to Europe, and is now widespread in cultivation throughout all regions of the world.

Peppermint: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting peppermint

Peppermint generally grows best in moist, sun to part shade locations.

The peppermint plant prefers moist, but not waterlogged soil.

Peppermint reproduces rapidly and easily via division of the underground stolons. It can be invasive, so choose the garden location carefully.

The leaves and flowering tops are harvested as soon as the flowers begin to open and can be dried.

Dried peppermint should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.