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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Labiatae
Nepeta cataria

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 570 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Catmint, catnip.

Description:
Perennial herbs to 80 cm high, moderately branched mainly from the base, with branches quadrangular, densely covered with simple rarely stellately branched hairs; leaves with the petiole 0.5-2.5 cm long; blade ovate to almost triangular, 2-6.5 x 1-4 cm, usually acute, cordate at the base, coarsely dentate to serrate or rarely lobed, more densely hairy underneath.

Inflorescence a thyrse without a peduncle, often on short lateral branches, with sessile cymose part-inflorescence often forming dense clusters with internodes often much elongated between them and with bracts usually shorter than these clusters; sepals more or less equally connate to two-thirds of their length, 14-veined, 5-7 mm long, with 5 lobes pointed, with anterior ones slightly shorter, with short simple hairs; corolla white to pale-purple with reddish-purple markings, 2-lipped, with lower lip scarcely longer than the tube, 7-10 mm long, hairy only on the exposed outer surface, with a short posterior lip broadly 2-lobed, with an anterior lip with 2 short lateral lobes and anterior one broadly spathulate, coarsely crenate to lobed; stamens inserted in and above the throat with filaments 3-5 times longer than the anthers, glabrous; with anthers 2-celled with 2 lower lobes spreading to about 80 from the attachment of the filament, exposed; ovary on a thick disc, deeply 4-lobed, with a style inserted near the base and curved along the posterior lip of the corolla, with a 2-fid stigma.

Mericarps broadly oblong-elliptic in surface view, 2.5-3 mm long, centripetally compressed and with an indistinct keel inside; with the attachment scar transversely oblong along the base and with 2 pits on either side of the lower indistinct keel, granulate.

image of FSA3_Nepeta_cat.jpg Flowering branch and calyx
Image source: fig. 555B in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Ross-Craig (1967) Drawings Brit. Pl. 24:fig. 19.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: NL, SL.   N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.   New Zealand. Native to southern and eastern Europe but now also widely naturalised in western parts.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Jan.


SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available


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