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Prostanthera nivea A.Cunn. ex Benth.
Family Lamiaceae
Common name: Snowy Mint-bush

Prostanthera nivea A.Cunn. ex Benth. APNI*

Description: Erect to spreading shrub, 1–4 m high, not aromatic; branches 4-ridged, glabrous to hoary with dense white appressed hairs, glands inconspicuous.

Leaves with lamina linear to ± terete, 10–50 mm long, 0.5–2 mm wide; apex obtuse to ± acute; base narrow-cuneate, decurrent; margins entire; flat to involute; surfaces glabrous to hoary with dense white appressed hairs, glands inconspicuous; sessile.

Flowers axillary, often crowded towards the ends of the branches in a leafy 'spike'; bracteoles persistent, minute and c. 0.5 mm long, to linear and leafy and 2–4 mm long. Calyx 6–8 mm long; tube 3–4 mm long; upper lobe 3–5 mm long, enlarged in fruit. Corolla 14–18 mm long, white to mauve, with yellow spots in throat. Anthers with appendage c. 1.5 mm long.


Photo © ANBG

Flowering: spring.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in sclerophyll forest, woodland and heath, widespread.
NSW subdivisions: NC, ?CC, SC, NT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
AVH map***

Text by B. J. Conn
Taxon concept:

 Key to the varieties 
1Erect shrub, often slender, 1–4 m high; branches and leaves glabrous to sparsely covered with white appressed hairs, light to bright green; leaves mostly 0.5–1 mm wide; bracteoles inconspicuous, c. 0.5 mm long; calyx glabrous or lower lobe ciliate and/or hairy; corolla white to pale mauve with yellow spots in throatvar. nivea
Erect shrub, often dense, 1–2 m high; branches hoary with dense white appressed hairs, grey-green; leaves sparsely to densely hoary with white appressed hairs, light to grey-green, mostly 1–2 mm wide; bracteoles leafy, linear, 2–4 mm long, 0.3–0.5 mm wide; calyx moderately to densely hoary; corolla very pale to dark mauvevar. induta

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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