Yellow Catmint
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Yellow Catmint
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Yellow Catmint, Yellow Catnip
Botanical name: Nepeta govaniana    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Dracocephalum govanianum

Yellow Catmint is a tall erect aromatic and sticky perennial herb, growing up to 2-4 ft. Stems are sturdy, 4-angled, very finely velvety or hairy, little branched, leafy. Flowers are about 2.5 cm, pale yellow to orange- yellow, slender below, gracefully curved, much widened at the throat. Upper lip is sickle-shaped, deeply 2-lobed, lower lip as long as upper, broader, shallowly 2-lobed. Sepal-cup is 6-8 mm, tubular, with unequal, triangular or narrow triangular sepals, 1/3 to as long as the tube. Flowers are borne in a showy, panicle of few-flowered lax, stalked cymes borne in axils of uppermost leaves and leaf-like bracts. Bracts are much smaller than sepals. Flower-stalks are 3-6 mm. Leaves are ovate or ovate-lanceshaped, up to 11 cm long, 6 cm broad, with toothed margin. Leaf-base is broadly wedge-shaped to rounded, and the tip is pinted. Leaves are finely pilose. mainly on nerves beneath and with numerous stalkless oil globules. Leaf-stalk is 1.5-3 cm long. Nutlets are about 2.5 x 1.4 mm, oblong, greenish brown. Yellow Catmint is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Uttarakhand, at altitudes of 2400-3300 m. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh, Prashant Awale
Photographed enroute to Hampta pass, Himachal Pradesh.
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