Peppermint is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widely spread and cultivated in many regions of the world. It is occasionally found in the wild with its parent species.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) was first cultivated in 1750 near London, England as an experimental hybrid between watermint and spearmint. That you can now find naturally growing peppermint almost anywhere in the world is a testament not only to its adaptability, but as an indication of its medicinal qualities. Though not as invasive as some of its mint relatives, no instructions on how to grow peppermint would be complete without mentioning its tendency to spread. Because of this, many gardeners prefer growing peppermint in containers. Others grow it in the ground with wood or plastic edging buried around the bed to prevent the spread of roots.