Botanical name: Elsholtzia strobilifera Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Elsholtzia exigua, Mentha strobilifera, Cyclostegia strobilifera
Pinecone Mint is a small fragrant annual herb, 5-25 cm tall. It is easily recognized by it condensed flower-spikes having quite broad overlapping bracts, concealing the sepals. Flower spikes are lateral and at branch-ends, 1.5-3 x 0.8 cm, sometimes solitary. Bracts very broad, ovate-circular, flat-rounded with or without a short mucro, surrounding inflorescence axis, membranous, tightly overlapping. Flowers are almost hidden by bracts. Calyx is 1.5-2 mm with narrow triangular teeth. Flowers are about 3.5 mm, whitish or purplish. Stems are slender, branched or not almost hairless or with woolly white eglandular hairs. Leaves are ovate-elliptic, about 2 x 1 cm, crenulate, wedge-shaped, pointed, with a sparse short eglandular indumentum, densely gland-dotted below; leaf-stalk about 1 cm. Pinecone Mint is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Bhutan, NE India, Tibet, Burma, China, at altitudes of 1900-4800 m. Flowering: May-October.
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