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Pakistan | Family List | Labiatae | Meriandra

Meriandra bengalensis (Konig ex Roxburgh) Benth. in Edward’s Bot. Reg. 15: post t. 1282. 1829. Benth. in Wall., Pl. As. Rar. 1: 29. 1830; Benth. Lab. Gen. et Sp. 189. 1833; Benth. in DC., Prodr. 12: 262. 1848; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4: 653. 1885; Mukerjee in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 14: 104. 1940; Wealth of India, Raw Materials, 6: 346. 1962; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 618. 1972.

I.C. Hedge

  • Salvia abyssinica R. Br.
  • Salvia bengalensis Konig ex Roxburgh
  • Salvia dianthera Roth

    Shrub with an aromatic, camphor-like, odour. Stems woody and leafless below, up to 1 m, above leafy and with an indumentum of short dendroid hairs only. Leaves regularly ovate-oblong to elliptic, 5-11 x 1-3 cm, thickish-textured, very finely crenulate, cuneate, rounded or cordate, acute, rugulose on adaxial side; indumentum denser on abaxial side, whitish; petiole up to 12 mm; clusters of young leaves sometimes present in axils. Inflorescence spike-like, of distinct, clearly separated or almost so, verticillasters. Bracts equal to or shorter than calyces. Calyx in flower c. 2-3 mm, in fruit to c. 7 mm, with a dense indumentum of eglandular branched hairs; upper lip subentire; lower lip with 2, c.1-15 mm lobes. Corolla 6-7 mm, white or pale lilac, with spreading lobes; tube with a dense annulus. Stamens 2, exserted; thecae separated by a short connective, parallel; small staminodes usually present. Nutlets c. 1.8 x 1 mm, brown, not mucilaginous on wetting.

    Type: India [without indication of locality or collector; from extant specimens collected by Roxburgh one could serve as lectotype].

    Distribution: Ethiopia, NE Africa, Saudi Arabia, N. Yemen.

    R. R. Stewart (l.c.) notes that it is sometimes grown in gardens on the plains; presumably as a culinary herb or for its aromatic fragrance. No specimens from our area have been seen.

    The other member of the genus Meriandra strobilifera Benth., with dense 4-angled spikes, is recorded by Wali & Tiku (Bull. Bet. Surv. Ind. 6: 147. 1964) from the Lolab valley of Kashmir (NW of Srinagar). I have not seen the specimen, but the record seems to require confirmation as the species was previously known only from the areas of Simla and Kumaon.


    Related Objects  
  • Illustration (M. Rafiq)
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