Purple Shrub-Mint
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Purple Shrub-Mint
P Native Photo: Kiran Srivastava
Common name: Purple Shrub-Mint, East-Himalayan Shrub-Mint • Manipuri: ꯋꯤꯆꯧ Wichou
Botanical name: Pogostemon elsholtzioides    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Purple Shrub-Mint Shrub-Mint is a perennial bushy shrub, 1-2 m tall. Flowers are borne in spikes 1.5-12 cm long, 8-11 mm wide, at branch-ends and in leaf-axils, sometimes one-sided, continuous, sometimes interrupted basally, with more than two lateral branches. Flower-cluster-stalks are 0.5-2 cm long; verticillasters many-flowered, flowers nearly stalkless. Bracts and bracteoles ovate or lanceshaped, 1.5-3.3 mm long, woolly. Sepal-cup is bell-shaped, 3-3.5 mm long, woolly and golden glandular outside, teeth 5, triangular, about 1mm long, about 0.7 mm wide at base, margin fringed with hairs. Flowers are mauve, about 4.5 mm long, protruding, 2-lipped, upper lip 3-lobed, lobes about 0.7 mm long, about 0.9 mm wide at base, tip blunt, lower lip entire, about 0.9 mm long, about 1 mm wide at base, tip pointed. Stamens are 4, much protruding, erect; filaments about 4.3-4.6 mm long, bearded at middle, style about 6 mm long. Stem is solid, erect, branched, round or angular, woolly. Leaves are opposite, carried on leaf-stalks 1-2 cm long, woolly; blade narrowly elliptic to lanceshaped, 4-15 x 1-5 cm, base wedge-shaped, margin sawtoothed, tip tapering, woolly above, glandular on both surfaces, lateral veins 3-5 pairs. Purple Shrub-Mint Shrub-Mint is widely distributed in East Himalaya and parts of China, at altitudes of of 1100-1300 m. Flowering:September-December.
Medicinal uses: Decoction of flowes is prescribed in leucorrhoea. Paste of seeds is applied to leucodermal patches. Boiled extract of inflorescence is useful in throal complaints.

Identification credit: Tapas Chakrabarty, J.M. Garg Photographed in Upper Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh & Mizoram.

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