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Pakistan | Family List | Labiatae | Nepeta

23. Nepeta grata Benth., Lab. Gen. et Sp. 735. 1835. Benth. in DC., Prodr. 12: 373. 1848.

I.C. Hedge

Similar to Nepeta kokanica, but plant aromatic, stems erect c. 30 cm, leaves sessile, triangular-ovate with a rather thin indumentum of simple hairs, and 2-3 condensed or separated verticillasters.

Types: India, Lahul & Spiti: Kioubrong, ad 4500 m, Jacquemont 1792 (K!, P!); Hookiaghanti to Ganhang ghant, c 4000 m, Jacquemont 1898 (K!).

Distribution: Ladakh, Lahul & Spiti.

This is a poorly known but interesting species apparently related to Nepeta kokanicum; the Stainton specimen is placed here with some uncertainty. Although the overall fades of these three specimens is very different from the multiform Nepeta kokanica, mainly on account of the leaves, the strong similarities of the inflorescence heads, bracts and especially the nutlets suggest a clear affinity between the two species; the nutlet dimensions of one of the Jacquemont specimens are identical with those of Nepeta kokanica (unusually long among the Pakistan species) and their shape, texture and areole are also identical.

Although Bentham in the original description gave "Kashmir" as the type locality, the labels on the Kew specimens (the specimen at P bears only the number 1792, no locality) clearly indicate the type localities as being in what today is Indian Lahul & Spiti.

After Bentham’s 1848 Prodromus reference, cited above, the name Nepeta grata seems to have been totally neglected in botanical literature, yet it is the earliest epithet in this complex which, including Nepeta kokanica and the several related C. Asiatic taxa, is much in need of an overall review.


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