Smooth Catmint
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Smooth Catmint
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Smooth Catmint
Botanical name: Nepeta laevigata    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Betonica laevigata, Nepeta spicata, Nepeta nuristanica

Smooth Catmint is an erect perennial herb, 1-3 ft cm tall, with usually branched stems. Flowers are blue-purple, borne in dense whorls crowded into long spikes, 5-10 cm long, at the end of stems. Sometimes there are one or few widely spaced whorls at the base. Flowers are 8-12 mm, with the flower-tube much longer than the sepal cup. Upper lip is deeply 2-lobed, lower lip short, rounded. Sepals are linear-lanceshaped long-pointed, bristly-hairy, as long as the sepal cup. Lower bracts are ovate, the upper lanceshaped, purplish. Leaves are ovate pointed to triangular-ovate, usually stalked, 2.5-5 cm long, coarsely saw-toothed. Smooth Catmint is found on the open slopes of drier areas in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to SW China, at altitudes of 2000-4500 m. Flowering: July-October.

Identification credit: Varun Sharma, Gurcharan Singh, J.M. Garg Photographed on Govindghat-Ghanghria trail, Uttarakhand & Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

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