Herb, 2-3 (3.5) m tall, aromatic, moderately pubescent on most parts. Petioles obsolete or to 2 cm long; blades ovate or rhombic, acute to acuminate, cuneate to truncate at base, 3-6 cm. long, 1.5-3.5 cm wide, serrate or doubly serrate. Panicles verticillate, the verticils each with 3-10 flowers; flowers sessile, emerging 1 at a time in each vertical; calyx toothed, the teeth 5, slender, alternating with erect trichomes in flower (once the flower has fallen the trichomes bend inward to close opening), enlarging and enclosing nutlets in fruit; corolla violet, pubescent, ca 4 mm long, bilabiate, the upper lip bilobed, with a white spot below rim, the lower lip trilobate, the center lobe hooded and marginally fringed, enclosing style and stamens; stamens 4, as long as lobes, fused to tube below lower lip, pubescent distally; anthers withering in age; style at first equaling stamens, later elongating; stigma bilobed closed when first released, later opening. Nutlets usually 3 or 4, ca 2 mm long, contained within the expanded calyx. Croat 7461. Locally abundant in the Lighthouse Clearing, usually a dominant plant at certain times of the year. Flowers very early in the dry season, with the fruits maturing in the late dry season. Pollination is effected when an insect (presumably a tiny bee) attempts to force its way into the corolla tube. This releases the stamens and style, which are under tension because of being pushed forward by a flap of tissue at the base of the hooded lobe. See the discussion under Hyptis capitata for a comparison of the two species.