With its fresh scent, distinct flavor, and attractive foliage, the many species of mint (Mentha) plants have long been prized in the landscape and the kitchen. Cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses throughout history, it has played a role in Greek, Roman, and Christian mythology, as well as folk medicine traditions worldwide. Here, I will take you through everything you need to know about mint plant meaning and cultural significance in the language of flowers.
Mint Plant Symbolism – Key Takeaways
In the language of flowers, mint symbolizes virtue. Mint gets its name from Greek mythology; the god Pluto preferred the nymph Mentha over the goddess Persephone, who (jealously) transformed Mentha into a plant. In ancient Rome, mint was an aphrodisiac woven into crowns worn by the goddess Venus. In feng shui, mint is thought to attract wealth and prosperity.
The Greek word “minthe,” which was the name of a nymph transformed into a mint plant, gives birth to the genus Mentha, a name that is still in use today as one of the oldest plant names.
Mint Plants in Feng Shui
In feng shui, people believe that mint attracts wealth and prosperity. You should place it in the southeast or “luck” corner of a home or room. Mint also has associations with good communication and improving the bonds with one’s children.
Common Mint Flower Colors and Their Meaning
Mint plants bloom with purple, white, or pink flowers, depending on the variety. In the language of flowers, mint symbolizes virtue.
Mint Plants in Greek Mythology
Mint plants have featured prominently in Greek mythology. The plant’s name stems from the story of the nymph Mentha. Pluto, the underworld god, was attracted to Mentha. This angered Persephone, the underworld goddess, who, in a fit of jealousy, turned Mentha into a plant. Even though Mentha had lost her human form, she still attracted mortals with her fragrance.
Mint Plants in Ancient Rome
The Romans also associated mint with lustfulness, and this ancient culture used mint as an aphrodisiac. What’s more, the goddess Venus wore mint in her crown; known as the Corona Veneris, statues of the goddess often feature her wearing a mint wreath on her head.
Mint Plants in Christianity
Mint features in the Christian bible, as well. In the story of the Pharisees, tithes were paid with mint.
Over the years, people used the strong aroma of mint to mask other, less pleasant scents. As such, the plant became associated with hospitality, cleanliness, and virtue.
Suitable Gifting Occasions
Today, mint has lost many of its associations with romantic love (and lust), so it’s a great choice to add scent and color to floral gifts for everyday giving, including birthdays and work.
Mint adds a fresh aroma to bouquets, arrangements, and centerpieces, making it an interesting addition for special occasions.
Mint adds fresh aroma and flavor to food and drinks, color and scent to the garden, and several health benefits. This easy-to-grow herb is a popular choice for the home garden and brings a colorful cultural history and symbolic meaning to each planting. Add mint to any floral gift that needs an uplifting fragrance.
Linsay is an American copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest with a background in academic writing and research. Linsay holds Master's degree in both Anthropology and Library and Information Sciences and has written for numerous national and international publications including USA Today, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump across an array of topics in the gardening, green living, and travel sectors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find Linsay reading, kayaking, sailing, snowboarding, or working in her garden.