[Horse-mints East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop

Agastache urticifolia var. urticifola

Synonym: Agastache urticifolia

Inflorescence and upper stem leaves of Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifola

The photo above shows the paired upper stem leaves and inflorescence of nettle-leaf horse-mint as seen at Wilson Creek, a BLM site several miles south of US Highway 2 in central Washington.........June 22, 2006. The inflorescence is both axillary in the upper pairs of stem leaves as well as consisting as terminal spike.

Flowers of Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifola The photo at right shows a close-up of the narrow, tubular flowers of nettle-leaf horse-mint. Photographed at Wilson Creek in central Washington..................June 22, 2006.
Characteristics:

Nettle-leaf horse-mint is a simple to many branched, green perennial, with square stems extending from 40-140 cm high. Plants are strongly aromatic with the herbage ranging from glabrous to covered with downward facing hairs which are either fine and short or longer, stiff,,, and appressed to the stem. The leaves, which are opposite along the stems, are narrowly to broadly triangular, or heart-shaped in outline with round-toothed margins. The blades range from 3.5-10 cm long and 2-8 cm wide and are strongly net-veined. The petioles measure 1-5 cm long. The leaves are reminiscent to those of stinging nettles, but lack the stingers.

The inflorescence is a dense terminal spike from 3-15 cm long. The calyx is narrowly funnel-shaped, 8-10 mm long, often glandular and often tipped with lanceolate to triangular lobes from 3-5 mm long. The calyx lobes are distinctly 3-veined and often tinged with lavender or purple. The white corolla is narrowly funnel-shaped, two-lipped, and 10-14 mm long (as measured from its base to the tip of the upper lip). The upper lip is 1-2 mm long and shallowly bi-lipped while the lower lip is longer, broader and 3-lobed. The lower pair of stamens ascend and extend 2-3 mm beyond the upper lip while the upper pair of stamens descend and extend past the lower lip from 4-7 mm.

Nettle-leaf horse-mint is a good nectar source for butterflies, often to the extent that is literally covered with fritillaries as well as other species. With its aromatic nature, attractive foliage, and ability to attract butterflies, this species would probably make a good wildflower for the dryland garden. It provides decent forage for cattle and is good forage for sheep, deer and elk. Typically, it increases with overgrazing. The seeds may be eaten both raw or cooked.


Habitat:

Open slopes and draws in sagebrush country, from the foothills to rather high up in the mountains.


Range:

Nettle-leaf Horse-mint is found from southeastern British Columbia south through central Washington, extending east of the Cascades through Oregon into California, and eastward to the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains.


Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifolia

Masses of nettleleaf horsemint blooming on slopes along Summit Drive, Umatilla National Forest......July 24, 2012.

Leaf of Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifola

The photo above shows the serrate-margined leaves of nettle-leaf horse-mint as seen at Wilson Creek, a BLM site several miles south of US Highway 2 in central Washington........June 22, 2006.

Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifola

Nettle-leaf horsemint as seen at Steptoe Butte in eastern Washington......June 22, 2009. Note the fritillary butterflies nectaring on some of the flowers.

Inflorescence and leaves of Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifola

Close-up of the inflorescence of nettle-leaf horsemint as seen at Steptoe Butte in eastern Washington.......June 22, 2009.

Raceme of Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifola - Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifolia (Synonym: Agastache urticifolia)

The photo above shows a close-up (left) of the inflorescence of nettle-leaf horse-mint as seen along Hat Point Road near Saddle Creek Campground in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area........July 11, 2007. The photo at right shows a close-up of the inflorescence of nettle-leaf horse-mint in a pot at the webmaster's yard in Gresham, OR.........July 6, 2016.

Close-up of the inflorescence of Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifolia - Close-up of the inflorescence of Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifolia

Additional close-ups of the inflorescence of nettleleaf horsemint as seen near the Roads End Trailhead, Strawberry Mt. Wilderness.........August 19, 2011.

Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifolia (Synonym: Agastache urticifolia) - Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Giant-hyssop, Nettle-leaved Giant Hyssop, Nettle-leaf Horse-mint, Nettle-leaved Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifolia (Synonym: Agastache urticifolia)

Nettleleaf horsemint as seen at the Rooster Comb, Steens Mountain........July 9, 2014.

Paul Slichter