Blephilia ciliata (L.) Benth. - Ohio Horse Mint

Blephilia ciliata plant

Family - Lamiaceae

Stems - To -1m tall, simple, multiple or single from base, from thin rhizomes, with fibrous roots, 4-angled, pubescent to hirsute, hollow, fragrant.

Blephilia ciliata stem

Leaves - Opposite, decussate, petiolate, fragrant. Petioles to 1cm long, hirsute to villous. Blades to 10cm long, +5cm broad, lanceolate, acute to blunt, ciliate margined, shallow serrate to crenate serrate, pubescent above, hirsute on veins below.

Blephilia ciliata leaf

Inflorescence - Terminal dense cluster of multiple verticillasters. Lower verticillasters subtended by ovate foliaceous bracts. Bracts only slightly exceeding the flowers, with ciliate margins, sessile. Pedicels to 2mm long.

Blephilia ciliata inflorescence

Flowers - Corolla bilabiate, white to lavender with purple spotting internally. Tube to 1cm long, pubescent near apex. Upper lip single lobed. Lobe to 3mm long. Lower lip 3-lobed, to 4mm broad and long. Central lobe +/-1.5mm longer than lateral lobes, linear. All lobes pubescent to hirsute externally, glabrous internally. Stamens 2, adnate at apex of corolla tube, exserted from upper lip of corolla. Filaments to 4.5mm long, glabrous, lilac to purplish. Anthers pinkish, to .9mm broad. Style 1.2cm long, glabrous, lilac to whitish. Ovary of 4 nutlets. Nutlets brownish to black, glabrous, 1mm long. Calyx bilabiate, 13 nerved. Tube to 6mm long, whitish-green at base, hirsute at apex. Upper lip 3-lobed. Lobes linear, 2.1mm long, with long paired cilia at apex, green. Lower lip 2-lobed. Lobes linear, 2mm long, with paired cilia at apex, green.

Blephilia ciliata flowersFlowers close-up.

Flowering - May - August.

Habitat - Open woods, glades, bluffs, roadsides.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species and the closely related B. hirsuta (Pursh) Benth. (found in the "White Flowers Opposite" section of this website) make desirable garden plants. Both are pleasantly fragrant, striking when in flower, and good for attracting flying insects.
B. ciliata typically has more bluish flowers than the plant pictured above. The genus name of the plant means "eye lashes" and is so named because of the long cilia on the bracts subtending the flowers.

Photographs taken in Eminence, MO., 5-23-03.


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