12. Salvia moocroftiana Wall. ex Benth., Pl. As. Rar. 1: 67. 1830. Benth. in DC., Prodr. 12: 284. 1848; J. L. Stewart in Journ. Agr. Hort. Soc. India 1, 1: 99. 1867; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4: 654. 1885; Mukerjee in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 14, 1: 110. 1940; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 631. 1972; Wealth of India, Raw Materials, 9: 196. 1972; Sharma & Kachroo, Fl. Jammu 261. 1981; Hedge in Rech. f, Fl. Iran. 150: 447, t. 488. 1982; Press in Hara et al., Enum. Fl. Pl. Nepal 164. 1982; Kaul, Weed Fl. Kashmir valley 222. 1986.
Vern.: "Karathra", "Gurgana", "Laphra", "Papra", "Kalil- jarri" Seeds- "Kanoucha", "Sholar".
Perennial, herbaceous. Stems sturdy quadrangular, few or several from a woody rootstock, branched from the base or not, erect, up to 70 cm, at base arachnoid to lanate, eglandular, above densely glandular pilose. Leaves mostly basal, thick-textured, discolorous, c. 10-24 x 4-18 cm, broad ovate or ± oblong, densely white pannose below, greenish above and pubescent, margins crenate or irregularly lobed, cordate or rounded at base; petiole of lower cauline leaves up to 10 cm, ± lanate. Inflorescence branched; verticillasters 6-10-flowered, distant below, congested above. Bracts showy, green, white or lilac, membranous, broad ovate, acuminate, c. 15 x15 mm. Pedicels in flower c. 4 mm scarcely elongating in fruit. Calyx tubular, 10-14 mm in flower somewhat longer in fruit, with short eglandular hairs, capitate glandular hairs and sessile oil globules; upper lip tridentate with spinulose teeth. Corolla lilac-violet, sometimes pale lilac to white, c. 25 mm long; tube rather slender, exserted from calyx lips, c. 15 mm long, not invaginated, esquamulate, exannulate; upper lip somewhat falcate. Lower thecae dolabriform, adhering. Nutlets ovoid-trigonous, brown with darker venation, c. 2.5 x 2.2 mm.
Fl. Per.: April-June.
Type: [Kashmir] Luddak [Ladakh], Moorcroft s.n. (holo. K).
Distribution: E. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, to Nepal.
The discolorous leaves, sturdy habit, prominent variously coloured bracts and large corollas are characteristic for this mainly NW Himalayan species. R. R. Stewart (l.c.) remarked that it is "our commonest species [of Salvia]". See comments for Salvia macrosiphon.
Preparations made from the roots and seeds are used medicinally (cf. J. L. Stewart, l.c. and Wealth of India, l.c.).