1. Ajuga L., Sp. Pl. 561. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 246. 1754; Benth. in DC., Prodr. 12: 595. 1848; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4: 702. 1885; Briquet in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pfanzenfam. ed. 1, 4, 3A: 209. 1895; Mukerjee in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 14, 1: 233. 1940; Pojarkova in Komarov, Fl. URSS 20: 13. 1954; Hedge in Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 27: 149. 1967; Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 150: 10. 1982; Jehan in Pak. J. Sc. Ind. Res. 27: 288-291. 1984.
Annual to perennial herbs. Stems several, ascending to erect, with eglandular simple hairs, leafy. Leaves elliptic to ovate-spathulate, petiolate, subentire to crenate-serrate, broadly cuneate at base, apically rounded or obtuse. Verticillasters several in axils of upper leaves, congested or distant, forming terminal heads or spikes. Bracts present, deciduous or not, small. Calyx regular, campanulate, 10-nerved; teeth 5 triangular-lanceolate, equal; tube ± as long as teeth, ± glabrous at throat. Corolla pink, blue to lilac (in ours), bilabiate, usually persisting after withering for some time; upper lip subabsent or very short; lower lip with 2 lateral lobes and a much larger emarginate central lobe; tube slender, annulate or not within, exserted from calyx. Stamens 4, didynamous, anterior pair longer, included within corolla or clearly exserted from it; thecae glabrous or pilose, becoming unilocular. Style clearly 2-lobed, not gynobasic, inserted above base of ovary lobes. Nutlets 4, transversely rugose, with a very large lateral attachment scar, not mucilaginous on wetting, obovoid, neither trigonous nor truncate.
A genus of about 50 species mainly in the temperate regions of the Old World; also in Arabia, E. and S. Africa, and N. America. Distinct on account of the almost absent upper lip of the corolla and the not gynobasic style. Closest to Teucrium.
Species Doubtfully Recorded
Ajuga macrosperma Wall. ex Benth. is recorded by Akhtar Jehan (l.c. 288) from “Rawalpindi, Raval River, Sham Singh ann. 1937”. I have seen the specimen (KUH) and it is indeed that species, but R. R. Stewart commented on the sheet “locality not to be trusted”. A. Jehan cites a second specimen of the species collected by R. R. Stewart (no 1232, K), but the locality Pathankot is in the Indian Punjab. The species, recognized by the geniculate swelling on the corolla tube above the level of the nutlets, is widespread in the Himalayan area and should be looked for in the easternmost parts of our area.