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Hyptis emoryi Torr.

Desert lavender

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyLamiaceaeMint family
GenusHyptisFrom the Greek huptios for “turned back,” from the lower lip position of the flower
SpeciesemoryiAfter Maj. William Hemsley Emory (1811-1887), Army officer and Director of the Mexican Boundary Survey

About plant names...

Desert lavender, a member of the mint family, is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, found at elevations below 3000' (914 m). It is a perennial, but it drops its leaves if it is too cold.

Identification: This shrub has multiple gray stems that are square in cross-section, and is 6-15' (1.8-4.6 m) high. Leaves are oval, up to 2½" (6.3 cm) × 1" (2.5 cm), feltlike, covered with fine hairs that make them look gray-green, with fine-toothed edges. When crushed, the leaves have a strong smell of lavender or sage with a touch of honey. Flowers are lavender-colored or sometimes a brighter violet. Individual flowers are ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) around, with five petals. They occur in clusters.

Online References:

Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert

George and Audrey DeLange's Arizona wildflower site

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center



The Plant List at AZArboretum.org

Wikimedia Commons

The Jepson Manual

Hyptis emoryi (desert lavender)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Cali­fornia
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Blort blora


Hyptis emoryi description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Hyptis emoryi (desert lavender)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Cali­fornia
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Hyptis emoryi (desert lavender)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Cali­fornia
≈ 4 × 5" (10 × 13 cm)

Range: Zones 8-10:

About this map...