Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Salvia reflexa Hornem.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Hornemann, J.W. (1807) Enumeratio Plantarum Horti Botanici Hafniensis ed. 2 : 34. Type: (not seen).

Common name

Mintweed; Narrow-leafed Sage; Wild Mint


Usually grows as a herb but also flowers as a shrub about 1 m tall.


Stems and twigs 4-angled, square in transverse section. Leaf blades about 3-6 x 0.7-1.5 cm, petioles about 0.5-0.8 cm long. Stems, petioles, leaf blade margins and undersides clothed in short hairs which are visible with a lens. Petiole grooved on the upper surface. Glands usually visible on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade. Leaves aromatic when crushed.


Outer surface of the calyx and corolla clothed in short white curved hairs. Calyx about 6 mm long, bilobed, one lobe with two teeth and the other with one tooth. Corolla about 7-8 mm long, bilobed, one lobe with one larger and two smaller lobes and the other lobe with one or two smaller lobes. Staminal filaments joined together at their bases to form a saddle-shaped structure. Anther slits restricted to the top half of the anther. One locule of each anther sterile. Ovary appears almost apocarpous, style attached near the base. One stigma much longer than the other.


Fruiting calyx about 7 mm long, hairy, longitudinally ribbed. Fruits consist of 2-4 nutlets resembling seeds. Each nutlet about 2 mm diam., surface reticulate. Seeds shaped like a quadrant. Embryo about 2 mm long, cotyledons folded. Radicle about 1 mm long.


Cotyledons about 6-7 x 7-8 mm, petioles about 4 mm long. First pair of leaves elliptic, apex obtuse, margin with 1 or 2 blunt teeth on each side. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade variable in shape from ovate to obovate, apex usually obtuse, base cuneate to attenuate. Margin crenate, usually with 3 teeth on each side. Lateral veins usually 4 on each side of the midrib. Upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade with numerous pale-coloured orbicular aromatic glands visible with a lens. Marks resembling stipular scars present on the stem between the petiole bases. Plants aromatic when crushed. All seedling parts clothed in short, pale, downward-pointing or hooked hairs. Seed germination time 887 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from southern United States and northern Mexico, now naturalised in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland and in most other Australian states. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 750 m. Grows in monsoon forest and vine thickets.

Natural History & Notes

This species is reputed to be poisonous.

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