This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(John Sigismund Elsholtz, author of unpublished Flora Marchica, the MS. of which is in the Royal Library, Berlin). Labiatae. Herbs or undershrubs grown chiefly for their blue or lilac flowers appearing in dense spikes late in summer.
Usually aromatic: leaves opposite, short-petioled, serrate: flowers in usually 1-sided, terminal spikes; calyx tubular or campanulate, 5-toothed; corolla 2-lipped or slightly so; lower lip 3-lobed, the upper undivided, emarginate, concave; stamens 4, exserted; anther-cells diverging: fruit consisting of 4 ovoid or ovoid-oblong nutlets. - Twenty species in E. and Cent. Asia, south to Java, 1 in Eu. and 1 in Abyssinia. Of the cult, species E. cristata and E. Stauntonii are hardy N., while E. polystachya is tender. They are chiefly valued for their late-appearing flowers, profusely produced in dense upright spikes; they do not seem particular as to the soil, but demand a sunny position to bloom well. Prop, is by seeds, sown in spring; also with the suffruti-cose species by greenwood cuttings in summer.
Willd. Fig. 1392. Twelve to 18 in. high, with opposite, petioled, ovate- oblong toothed leaves and small, light blue flowers in crowded, more or less 1-sided spikes: calyx enlarging in fruit Asia. B.M. 2560. - Hardy annual, with very aromatic foliage and attractive, upright habit. Said to be a good bee plant.
Fig. 1392. Elsholtzia cristata.
Stauntonii, Benth. Undershrub, to 5 ft.: branchlets terete, pubescent: leaves ovate-oblong to oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, serrate, bright green and glabrous above, lighter green and densely glandular below, 3-5 in. long: flowers lilac-purple, in dense 1-sided spikes 4-8 in. long, usually panicled at the end of the branches; stamens and style long exserted. Sept., Oct. N. China. B.M. 8460. G.C. III. 51:21. Gn. 75, p. 533. M.D.G. 1910:541-2; 1913:52.
E. polystachya, Benth. Undershrub, to 6 ft.: leaves elliptic-oblong to lanceolate, serrate, pubescent on the veins beneath and glandular, 3-5 in. long: flowers white, in very slender spikes 2-6 in. long. Himalayas, W. China. Alfred Rehder.