Hyssopus officinalis L., Sp. Pl. 569. 1753. Benth. in DC., Prodr. 12: 251. 1848; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4: 649. 1885; Mukerjee in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 14, 1: 94. 1940; Hedge in Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 28: 171. 1968; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 614. 1972.
Perennial with numerous stems arising from a thick woody rootstock. Stems herbaceous, acutely quadrangular, 20-60 cm, little branched, glabrous or with few very short eglandular hairs. Leaves c. 20 x 1-3 mm, linear to linear-oblong, entire, glabrous, gland-dotted below and above, sessile, acute, somewhat revolute. Upper leaves transitional into bracts. Cymes pedunculate, 3-14-flowered, compact or lax. Flowers violet-blue, shortly pedicellate. Calyx tubular below in flower, funnel-shaped above, 6-7 mm, violet-coloured or green, gland-dotted and glabrous or with very short eglandular hairs; teeth narrow triangular, acuminate, subequal, 2 mm; tube glabrous at throat. Corolla 8-10 mm, glabrous or pilose; tube slender, slightly curved. Stamens clearly exserted beyond corolla lobes. Nutlets c. 2.5 x 1 mm, narrow oblong, finely papillose, mucilaginous.
Type: Not indicated (LINN 725/1 - microfiche!).
Distribution: Europe, SW and C. Asia, NW India.
Rechinger (Fl. Iran. 150: 526, t. 419. 1982) recognized the specimens cited above as Hyssopus seravschanicus (Dub.) Pazij (Ind. Sem. Hort. Bot. Univ. As. Med. 4. 1945), but I prefer, until an overall review of all the extant names is at hand, to use the early name Hyssopus officinalis. Some of the species which are recognized in Soviet Central Asia (cf. Borissova, l.c.; Tuljaganova in Vvedensky, Conspect. Fl. As. Med. 9: 162. 1987) seem very similar to specimens beyond their supposed discrete areas. An example in our area is provided by the Ziarat collection of Lace which because of its dearly cuspidate bracts and calyx teeth seems very like the Altai endemic Hyssopus cuspidatus Borissova. It is possible that at least some of the variation displayed by Hyssopus officinalis is linked with ecological conditions.