By Kaye Wierzbicki

Kaye Wierzbicki studies and writes about American literature, American gardens, and the intersections between them. She currently lives on the East Coast, but is looking forward to experiencing Minnesota niceness when she relocates to the Twin Cities this summer.

  1. It’s an unassuming flower, the pennyroyal, with its small, pointed, lavender petals cupped by deep green leaves. Pennyroyal flowers grow in kusudama-like clusters that thread a single, delicate stem. A cousin to mint, pennyroyal smells good (if a bit overwhelming) and can help keep fleas and mosquitoes at bay. Ingested as a tea or an oil, pennyroyal can hurry along an annoyingly late period. And in high enough doses, the story goes, pennyroyal can allow…

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