Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Botany picture #33: Prunella hyssopifolia

Finally, the last species of the genus, Prunella hyssopifolia (Lamiaceae). Its area of distribution is limited to SW France and NE Spain, and I had been trying to get my hands on seeds for several years before I finally found it fruiting in southern France. Of course, a year later I donated everything to the Botanic Garden of Zurich, where this photograph was taken, in preparation for my move to Australia.

The most interesting thing about trying to find this plant was that several German botanic gardens thought they had it in their collection, but the plants invariably turned out to be another species, usually simply P. grandiflora. I hope that this accession now makes its way around so that the real P. hyssopifolia can be found in more gardens in the future. It is similar to both P. grandiflora and P. vulgaris but differs from the former in its smaller flowers, from the latter in the absence of stolons, and from both in its narrow, sessile leaves.

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