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Habitat and appearance: A native throughout Europe, and in Britain very common in damp, wet areas in England. The stems, 50cm-1m high, are quadrangular and bear broad, smooth and finely-toothed leaves. The whorled clusters of reddish-violet flowers are born on small spikes, appearing in mid-summer.
Garden suitability: All mints in the garden are there at the owner’s risk. All 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.