Pennyroyal (European)

Common name: Pennyroyal (European)

Scientific name: Mentha pulegium

Family: Lamiaceae

Uses: Culinary, decorative, medicinal.Attractive flowers. For culinary use. Use for flavoring. Use in vinegars. Use for containers. Use for tea. Use for drying. Do not use in large doses when pregnant. Rubbing the oil from freshly crushed leaves on your skin is said to repel flies, gnats, chiggers, ticks and misquotes. Pennyroyal is reported to have some medicinal uses.

History: In Greek mythology Minthe was a nymph beloved by Pluto who transformed her into thses scented herbs after his wife took drastic action. Mint is considered a sign of hospitality.

Description: Leaves are opposite, elliptical or obvate, stalked, smooth edged or slightly toothed with fine hairs and a strong minty odor. The stems are lax and root wherever they touch the ground. The leaves of European pennyroyal are about 1/2 inch in length. The flowers have four stamens while American pennyroyal has two.

Plant type: Perennial

Hardiness: Hardiness zone 5-9.

Height: 1 foot

Width: varies, spreads aggressively

Light: Partial shade to sun

Soil: moist, well drained, rich soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0

Pests: it is reported to repel some insects

Disease: Usually free of disease

Cultivation: Thin or transplant to 12 inches apart. Use large pots or polyethylene bags to help restrain invasive roots.

Companion planting: Repels carrot rust fly when planted near many vegetables.

Propagation: Seed, root or stem cuttings, division.

Flowering period: July to August

Flower color: reddish-purple to lilac

Harvesting: Harvest foliage just before blooming and hang to dry. Store in air tight containers.

Garden notes: