Sp. Pl. 576 (1753) APNI
Erect, rhizomatous herb to 1 m high, often rooting at lower nodes; branches glabrous or with scattered hairs, often tinged purple. Leaves ovate or oblong-ovate, 20–90 mm long, 10–35 mm wide, surfaces glabrous or with scattered hairs, veins sometimes reticulate and strongly impressed above, apex obtuse or acute, base cordate, margin serrate; sessile. Inflorescence terminal, spike-like, 2–6 cm long; flowers in dense, many-flowered clusters, the internodes sometimes obscured; pedicels much shorter than to sub-equal to calyx. Calyx 1.5–2.5 mm long, 10-veined, lobes c. half as long to as long as tube, glabrous or with scattered hairs, particularly on margin; corolla white, pink or lilac, exceeding calyx by 1.5–2.5 mm, lobes 1–2 mm long, the posterior one entire or barely emarginate; anthers strongly exserted. Flowers mostly Dec.–Apr.
*CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *NIS, *OtR, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP. Also naturalised WA, SA, NSW, Tas. Origin unknown, probably native to the northern Mediterranean region, but possibly a fertile hybrid arisen in cultivation. Scattered usually in cooler parts of the State, in ditches, dams, verges of watercourses etc. Commonly cultivated as a culinary herb.
The commonly naturalised variant has more or less glabrous leaves with hardly impressed venation, and inflorescences discontinuous, with lower flower clusters usually distant from the remainder. The variant most commonly cultivated (and occasionally naturalised) has leaves with impressed, reticulate venation, often with spreading hairs on the lower surfaces, and usually continuous inflorescences.
|Bioregion||Occurrence status||Establishment means|
|Victorian Volcanic Plain||present||naturalised|
|Central Victorian Uplands||present||naturalised|
|Northern Inland Slopes||present||introduced|
|East Gippsland Lowlands||present||naturalised|
|East Gippsland Uplands||present||naturalised|
|New South Wales|
|Australian Capital Territory|