Family: Lamiaceae (A Utah Flora – Labiatae) – Mint Family
Aromatic shrubs; strong minty or sage odor; 11.8” to 3.3' (3 to 10 dm) tall; stems usually 4 sided – square in cross section
Leaves: opposite; simple; entire; has dense white hairs; foliage dotted with small glands containing volatile oils; 0.4” to 1.2” (1 to 3 cm) long
Flowers: 5 lavender to whitish (with purple dots on lower lip) united petals (2 fused upper and 3 fused lower), tubular; 2 stamens, 1 pistil; flowers highly ornate in long clusters, heads, or interrupted whorls on the stem; bisexual; bilaterally symmetrical; flowers 0.4” to 0.56” (10 to 14 mm) long
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically bees)
Fruits: schizocarp breaking at maturity into four one seeded nutlets
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
Habitat in Arches National Park: sandy sites in desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: park road near Courthouse Wash bridge, Petrified Dunes, park road mile 5.5, mile 6.5
Other: The genus name, “Poliomintha”, is from the Greek “polios” meaning “gray” and “menthe” meaning “mint”. The species name, “incana”, means “hairy, hoary, grey or silver colored” referring to the leaves.
This family contains various mints, oregano, marjoram, thyme, sage, basil, catnip, lavender; spices and flavorings.