Royle's Germander
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Royle's Germander
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Royle's Germander
Botanical name: Teucrium royleanum    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Teucrium edelbergii

Royle's Germander is a perennial herb with a slender creeping rhizome. It was named for John Forbes Royle, 19th century British botanist and physician in India before returning to London as professor of materia medica. Stems are few, erect, 15-50 cm tall, obtusely quadrangular, usually not branched, with short hairs. Leaves are few, 3.5-5.5 x 1.5-4 cm, regularly ovate or oblong-ovate, heart-shaped to rounded-flat at the base, pointed at the tip, finely toothed, carried on 1-2.5 cm long leaf stalk. Flowers are borne in stalked in the axils of upper leaves, and at the end of branches. Stalk carrying the cyme is 0.5-2 cm long, with flowers few to several. Bracts are linear, longer than flower-stalks. Sepal cup is 4-5 mm long, 2-lipped, pale greenish-white, bell-shaped. Upper lip is 3-toothed with middle tooth ovate long-pointed, clearly larger than laterals. Lower lip has 2 narrow lanceshaped upcurved teeth. Flowers are white, greenish white, or cream, 1-1.3 cm, finely glandular hairy. Flowers are like 2-lipped flowers of the mint family, but with the upper lip missing. The lower lip is 5-lobed. Middle lobe of the lip is spreading-deflexed. Nutlets are about 1.5 x 1.1 mm. Royle's Germander is found in the Himalayas, from E. Afghanistan to Pakistan, Kashmir, NW India and Nepal, altitudes of 1300-2800 m. Its is usually seen growing in shady places among rocks. Flowering: May-September.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Mohra near Uri, Kashmir.
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