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A deciduous, semi-woody plant 3 to 5 ft high, with a sage-like odour; branches long, stiffly erect, covered with a white, close down. Leaves opposite, 1 to 2 in. long, 1⁄3 to 1 in. wide, rhomboidal or slightly obovate, tapered at both ends, coarsely toothed, grey-green and slightly downy; stalk 1⁄12 to 1⁄3 in. long. Panicles terminal, 9 to 12 in. long, produced in August and September, and composed of numerous slender, opposite, leafless spikes, 2 to 5 in. long. Flowers beautiful violet-blue, 1⁄3 in. long, produced in whorls; corolla two-lipped, tubular at the base with a five-lobed spreading limb 1⁄3 in. across; calyx shaggy with white hairs. The whole inflorescence is covered like the stem with a white, powder-like down, which brings the colour of the blossoms into greater prominence. Bot. Mag., t. 8441.
Native of the W. Himalaya and Afghanistan. It covers large areas in the Chitral Valley, to the exclusion of other vegetation. Although woody at the base, the stems made during the summer die back considerably during winter. It should be planted in good soil, in a group of at least half a dozen plants, and makes a pretty effect in late summer. A heat-lover, it should have the sunniest position available. The plants should be pruned over in spring, cutting off the dead portion and perhaps a little more. It is easily propagated by cuttings in early June by taking young shoots when they are 2 or 3 in. long. Seed is rarely produced in this country.
There is a group of P. atriplicifolia in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley, on the dry wall by the entrance.
P. atriplicifolia sens. Hook. f. in Fl. Brit. Ind ., Vol. IV, p. 652, not Benth