Purple Himalayan Sage
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Purple Himalayan Sage
ative Herb Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Purple Himalayan Sage, Purple Lampwick plant
Botanical name: Phlomoides bracteosa    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Phlomis bracteosa, Phlomis lamiifolia, Phlomis simplex

Purple Himalayan Sage is a perennial herb with a rather slender rootstock. Stems are few, 20-50 cm, usually unbranched, hairy. Leaves are ovate, herbaceous, aromatic; blade 5-10 x 4-7 cm, regularly rounded toothed, deeply heart-shaped to flat, nervation inprominent. Leaf-stalk is 3-8 cm on lower leaves, less above. Flowers are borne in whorls in interrupted spikes. Whorls are about 14-20-flowered, 2.5-4 cm in diameter. Bracts are numerous, slightly shorter than calyces, herbaceous, adpressed to sepal-cup, linear, tapering to spinulose, fringed with long simple eglandular hairs. Sepal-cup is 10-12 mm, with a similar indumentum to bracts, sometimes becoming hairless; teeth 3-4 mm, subulate to spinulose. Flowers are rose, or pinkish purple or violet, 1.5-2 cm; upper lip sickle shaped densely white-hairy, inner margin white-bearded, laterally finely toothed. Purple Himalayan Sage is found in Afghanistan, Punjab to the Himalaya, from Kashmir to Bhutan, at altitudes of 2400-4100 m.

Identification credit: Nongthombam Ullysess Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.

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