America It Is Probably Even More Common As An Escape Than Spearmint

Like its relative, it has long been known and grown in gardens and

fields, especially in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Description.--Like spearmint, the plant has creeping rootstocks, which

rapidly extend it, and often make it a troublesome weed in moist ground.

The stems are smaller than those of spearmint, not so tall, and are more

purplish. They bear ovate, smooth leaves upon longer stalks than those
/> of spearmint. The whorled clusters of little, reddish-violet flowers

form loose, interrupted spikes. No seed is borne.

Cultivation.--Although peppermint prefers wet, even swampy, soil, it

will do well on moist loam. It is cultivated like spearmint. In

Michigan, western New York and other parts of the country it is grown

commercially upon muck lands for the oil distilled from its leaves and

stems. Among essential oils, peppermint ranks first in importance. It is

a colorless, yellowish or greenish liquid, with a peculiar, highly

penetrating odor and a burning, camphorescent taste. An interesting use

is made of it by sanitary engineers, who test the tightness of pipe

joints by its aid. It has the faculty of making its escape and betraying

the presence of leaks. It is largely employed in the manufacture of

soaps and perfumery, but probably its best known use is for flavoring


TTITLE Rosemary

(Rosemarinus officinalis, Linn.)--As its generic name

implies, rosemary is a native of sea-coasts, "rose" coming from Ros,

dew, and "Mary" from marinus, ocean. It is one of the many Labiatae

found wild in limy situations along the Mediterranean coast. In ancient

times many and varied virtues were ascribed to the plant, hence its

"officinalis" or medical name, perhaps also the belief that "where

rosemary flourishes, the lady rules!" Pliny, Dioscorides and Galin all

write about it. It was cultivated by the Spaniards in the 13th century,

and from the 15th to the 18th century was popular as a condiment with

salt meats, but has since declined in popularity, until now it is used

for seasoning almost exclusively in Italian, French, Spanish and German


Description.--The plant is a half-hardy evergreen, 2 feet or more

tall. The erect, branching, woody stems bear a profusion of little

obtuse, linear leaves, green above and hoary white beneath. On their

upper parts they bear pale blue, axillary flowers in leafy clusters. The

light-brown seeds, white where they were attached to the plant, will

germinate even when four years old. All parts of the plant are

fragrant--"the humble rosemary whose sweets so thanklessly are shed to

scent the desert" (Thomas Moore). One of the pleasing superstitions

connected with this plant is that it strengthens the memory. Thus it has

become the emblem of remembrance and fidelity. Hence the origin of the

old custom of wearing it at weddings in many parts of Europe.

"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember: