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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Pycnostachys (Greek, thick spike, referring to the heavy spikes of fls.). Labiatae. Erect perennial herbs: lvs. opposite, broad or narrow, sessile or petioled: whorls condensed into a dense terminal spike; fls. bright blue or violet; calyx slightly accrescent, 5- toothed; corolla-tube longer than the calyx, upper lip short, 4-toothed, lower longer, deeply concave; stamens 4: nutlets subglobose, smooth.—About 40 species, natives of Trop. and S. Afr., 1 in Madagascar. P. urticifolia, Hook. A much-branched perennial herb, 5-7 ft. high: lvs. ovate-acute, deeply cut, crenate, densely pubescent: spikes very dense, 2-3 in. long; corolla bright blue. Trop. and S. Afr. B.M. 5365. More or less frequent in gardens in England. P. Dawei, N.E. Br. A stout herb, 4-6 ft. high and loosely branched pyramidal habit: lvs. narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, serrate: fls. many, crowded, in short spikes terminating all the branches, cobalt-blue; calyx-teeth needle-like. Trop. Afr. Intro. into England. B.M. 8450. P. caerulea, Hook., with 4-sided st. about 1 ft. high, bright blue fls. and sessile oblong or linear-lanceolate lvs., a native of Madagascar, has also been cult. in England.

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