Russian Sage
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Russian Sage
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Russian Sage
Botanical name: Perovskia abrotanoides    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Russian Sage is a subshrub, wide-spreading, aromatic, up to 1 m tall. Stems are much branched from a thick woody rootstock, leafy, with very short adpressed hairs and some oil globules. Leaves are multiply cut, with linear or linear-oblong ultimate segments, abouts 4-7 x 2.5 cm, below with a dense indumentum of hairs and numerous oil globules, sometimes shairless, stalk about 1 cm. Flowers are borne in showy, large, much-branched spikes with 2-4-flowered distant clusters. Bracts and bracteoles are present. Sepal cup is tubular, violet, about 4 mm long in flower, somewhat longer and broader in fruit, with a dense indumentum of long villous eglandular hairs, and many oil globules. Flowers are violet blue, rarely white, about 1 cm long, hairy, tube slightly protruding beyond the sepals. Upper lip is apparently 4-lobed, reflexed; lower lip 1-lobed, entire. Stamens are either clearly protruding or included, filaments often mauve. Style included or clearly protruding with a broadly bilobed stigma. Nutlets are ovoid, smooth, dark brown, about 2 x 1 mm. Russian Sage is found in E. Iran, Turkmenia, Afghanistan, Soviet Central Asia, Pakistan, Kashmir and Tibet, at altitudes of 2000-3500 m. Flowering: May-August.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale
Photographed in Sasuma, Ladakh.
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