Cone-Bearing Sage
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Cone-Bearing Sage
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Cone-Bearing Sage
Botanical name: Meriandra strobilifera    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Cone-Bearing Sage is a shrub with an aromatic, camphor-like, smell. Stems are woody and leafless below, up to 1 m, above leafy and with an covering of short dendroid hairs only. Leaves are regularly ovate-oblong to elliptic, 5-11 x 1-3 cm, thickish-textured, very finely toothed, wedge-shaped, rounded or heart-shaped, pointed, somewhat wrinkled above. Hairy covering is denser on the underside, whitish. Leaf-stalks are up to 1.2 cm. Clusters of young leaves are sometimes present in axils. Inflorescence is spike-like, of distinct, clearly separated or almost so, whorled-clusters. Bracts are equal to or shorter than sepal-cup. Sepal cup in flower is about 2-3 mm, in fruit to up to 7 mm, with a dense covering of eglandular branched hairs. Upper lip nearly entire, lower lip with 2, about1-15 mm lobes. Flowers are 6-7 mm, white or pale lilac, with spreading petals. Flower-tube has a dense annulus. Stamens are 2, protruding. Nutlets are about 1.8 x 1 mm, brown. Cone-Bearing Sage is found on dry, rocky slopes of W. Himalayas, at altitudes of 1500-1800 m.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal
Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.
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