Elliptic-Leaved Catmint
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Elliptic-Leaved Catmint
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Elliptic-Leaved Catmint • Hindi: Tukhmalanga, Zoofa
Botanical name: Nepeta elliptica    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Nepeta polystachya

Elliptic-Leaved Catmint is a perennial herb with erect stem, 1-2 ft tall, branched, 4-angled, densely covered with long white hairs. Leaves are narrow or broadly elliptic, 1.5-3.5 cm longm 0.8-1.8 cm wide, toothed, flat or heart-shaped at base, rounded at the tip. The upper surface of the leaves is almost hairless, with an eglandualar pilose or villous indumentums mostly confined to the veins beneath, and with numerous sessile glands. All leaves are stalkless or with a stalk up to 0.5 mm. Pale mauve or bluish flowers are borne condensed spikes, up to 10 x 1-1.5 cm. Outer bracts are ovate-lanceshaped to broad obovate, up to 6 x 4 mm. Flower-stalks are up to 4 mm long. Sepals cup is narrow tubular- obtriangular, eglandular pilose with or without glands and minute glandular papillae; throat oblique. Teeth-like sepals are unequal, linear, subulate, ciliate, as long as sepal tube. Flowers are 1-1.5 cm. Nutlets are 1.5 x 0.9-1 mm, ellipsoid, rounded above and below, brownish black, shiny, somewhat flattened, with a bibbed basal areale. Elliptic-Leaved Catmint is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Nepal, at altitudes of 1700-2700 m.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Manali, Himachal Pradesh & Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand.
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