Crested Late-Summer Mint
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Crested Late-Summer Mint
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Crested Late-Summer Mint
Botanical name: Elsholtzia ciliata    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Sideritis ciliata, Elsholtzia cristata, Elsholtzia patrinii

Crested Late-Summer Mint is an erect herb that grows to about 2 ft tall. Stems erect, yellowish brown, branched and sometimes purplish above. Leaves are stalked, ovate-elliptic and toothed, and reach 2-8.5 cm in length and 0.8-2.5 cm in width, and have a gland-dotted underside. Leaf-stalks are up to 2.5 cm long. Flowers are borne flat, one-sided spikes. Bracts are shortly stalked, broad ovate-circular, abruptly cuspidate with a 1 mm mucro with long multicellular crisped hairs. Sepals cup is 1.5-2 mm with 5 rather unequal narrow triangular cuspidate teeth. Fruiting sepal cup is up to 4 mm. Flowers are palish mauve to pale violet, 2.5-3 mm. Nutlets are oblong-ovoid, pale brown, about 1.1 x 0.6 mm. Crested Late-Summer Mint has many cultural uses. The seeds are sometimes powdered and used for flavoring food. Additionally it is common in traditional medicine, as it is carminative and astringent. Flowering: August-October.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand.
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