Melittis melissophyllum - Bastard Balm

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Lamiales - Family: Lamiaceae

Melittis melissophyllum

Bastard Balm is now rather scarce in the UK but occurs in large numbers in France, where this specimen was found. It grows there on roadside verges, particularly if they are wooded and somewhat shaded. This is a fragrant plant whose flowers are mainly white when it seen in the UK, where it is restricted to south-west of England and western Wales, but it is often a much deeper pink in France. This wildflower is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae).

Bastard Balm, Melittis melissophyllum, France

We have also seen a white form of this plant in the Triglav National Park in Slovenia.

The specimen shown here was photographed in the Lot Valley in France in May.

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