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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 17 | Lamiaceae | Nepeta

29. Nepeta cataria Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 570. 1753.

荆芥 jing jie

Calamintha albiflora Vaniot; Nepeta bodinieri Vaniot.

Plants perennial. Stems 40-150 cm, white pubescent. Petiole 0.7-3 cm, slender; leaf blade ovate to triangular-cordate, 2.5-7 × 2.1-4.7 cm, adaxially yellow-green, hirtellous, abaxially whitish pubescent especially on veins, base cordate to truncate, margin coarsely crenate to dentate, apex obtuse to acute. Cymes axillary basally, upper ones in loose or compact, interrupted terminal panicles; bracts and bracteoles subulate, minute. Calyx tubular, ca. 6 × 1.2 mm, white pubescent; teeth hirsute inside, subulate, 1.5-2 mm, posterior teeth longer, urceolate in fruit. Corolla white with purple spots on lower lip, white villous; throat pubescent inside, ca. 7.5 mm; tube slender, ca. 0.3 mm in diam., abruptly dilated into broad throat; upper lip ca. 2 × 3 mm, apex emarginate; middle lobe of lower lip subcircular, ca. 3 × 4 mm, cordate, margin coarsely dentate. Stamens included. Nutlets nearly triquetrous, ovoid, ca. 1.7 × 1 mm. Fl. Jul-Sep, fr. Sep-Oct.

Thickets or around houses; 0-2500 m. Cultivated in Gansu, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan [Afghanistan, Japan; Africa, Europe, North America]

Dried leaves and flowering tops are used medicinally as a stimulant, tonic, carminative, diaphoretic, and for infantile colic.


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