patchouli or patchouly (both: păchˈŏlē, pəchōˈlē) [key], fragrant shrubby East Indian plant ( Pogostemon cablin or P. patchouli ) of the family Labiatae (mint family). It is the source of a perfume oil, also called patchouli, distilled from the leaves. In its native Indomalesian region it has been used also as an insecticide and leech repellent and to soothe menstrual cramps. Patchouli is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Lamiales, family Labiatae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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