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It is at the same season, too, that mint1 is transplanted; or, if it has not yet germinated, the matted tufts of the old roots are used for the purpose. This plant, too, is no less fond of a humid soil than parsley; it is green in summer and turns yellow in winter. There is a wild kind of mint, known to us as "mentastrum:"2 it is reproduced by layers, like the vine, or else by planting the branches upside down. It was the sweetness of its smell that caused this plant to change its name among the Greeks, its former name with them being "mintha," from which the ancient Romans derived their name3 for it; whereas now, of late, it has been called by them ἡδύοσμον.4 The mint that is used in the dishes at rustic entertainments pervades the tables far and wide with its agreeable odour. When once planted, it lasts a considerable length of time; it bears, too, a strong resemblance to pennyroyal, a property of which is, as mentioned by us more than once,5 to flower when kept in our larders.

These other herbs, mint, I mean, and catmint, as well as pennyroyal, are all kept for use in a similar manner; but it is cummin6 that is the best suited of all the seasoning herbs to squeamish and delicate stomachs. This plant grows on the surface of the soil, seeming hardly to adhere to it, and raising itself aloft from the ground: it ought to be sown in the middle of the summer, in a crumbly, warm soil, more particularly. There is another wild kind7 of cummin, known by some persons as "rustic," by others as "Thebaic" cummin: bruised and drunk in water, it is good for pains in the stomach. The cummin most esteemed in our part of the world is that of Carpetania,8 though elsewhere that of Africa and Æthiopia is more highly esteemed; with some, indeed, this last is pre- ferred to that of Egypt.

1 See B. xx. c. 53.

2 Called by the Greeks καλαμίνθη, according to Apuleius.

3 Or "Mentha."

4 "Sweet-smelling."

5 "Sæpius." See B. xviii. c. 60.

6 The Cuminum cyminum of botanists. See B. xx. c. 57.

7 See B. xx. c. 57.

8 In Hispania Tarraconensis. See B. iii. c. 4.

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