Sprengel, Syst. Veg. 2:724 (1825).
Synonymy: M. gracilis R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 505 (1810), non Sole (1798); M. serpyllifolia Benth. in A. DC., Prod. 12:174 (1848).
Common name: Slender mint.
Perennial herbs, mat-forming, with stout underground rhizomes often rooting at the nodes, producing ascending to prostrate quadrangular stems to 25 cm long, usually much-branched, more or less densely covered with short recurved simple hairs; leaves with the petiole 0-3 mm long; blade ovate often angular-ovate, rarely lanceolate or elliptic, 0.6-2 x 0.4-1.2 cm, obtuse or rounded, abruptly constricted at the base to sometimes truncate, sometimes with distant shallow serrations, with 2-4 pairs of secondary veins, glabrous or with short simple hairs and sessile glands on the upper and lower surface.
Inflorescence a thyrse without a distinct peduncle, usually unbranched, with cymose part-inflorescences usually sessile rarely stalked on the lower part (see note below) and with 3-7 flowers, with each dichasium subtended by a leaf-like bract and with internodes between them elongated and often longer than the bracts; sepals more or less regularly connate to at least two-thirds of their length, 13-veined, 3-5 mm long, with pointed lobes densely covered with long hairs along the margins and sometimes on the inside, tube with short hairs and sessile glands outside; corolla purple often pale-purple, vaguely 2-lipped, with posterior lip truncate to emarginate, with anterior lip of 3 subequal lobes, with few hairs and sessile glands on the outside, with few short hairs around filaments on the inside; stamens inserted just below the throat of the corolla tube, with filaments glabrous; anthers 2-celled, more or less exserted; ovary on a thick disk, 4-lobed, with a slender style inserted near the base with a shortly 2-fid stigma.
Mericarps obovoid, c. 1 mm long, not keeled, with the attachment scar basal, without concavities, a circular ring around a pale tooth, finely rugose-granulate.
||Flowering branch, leaf and calyx.
Image source: fig. 554B in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).|
Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 574.
2. M. diemenica
S.Aust.: LE, NU, GT, FR, NL, MU, SL. Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.
Flowering time: Nov. — Feb.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
The part-inflorescences are usually sessile or almost so in M. diemenica but at times there are specimens in which they are stalked but in contrast to those of M. satureioides there is at least one additional pair of bracts at the branching point.
Not yet available