Ballota nigra 2005.06.19 10.13.06-p6190007
by Michael Becker (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
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A genus of 8 species of usually annual, occasionally short-lived perennial, plants in the Lamiaceae family native to the Mediterranean region and parts of Central and Southwestern Asia. They have an erect, upright habit with ovate, toothed leaves and unusual flowers comprising large green bell-shaped calyces surrounding small two-lipped flowers. Commonly known as bells of Ireland, or Irish bell flower, cultivated species such as M. laevis are used in dried flower arrangements.