VII. Subfam. Nepetoideae (Dumort.) Luerss. (1882).

VII. 1. Tribe Elsholtzieae (Burnett) Sanders & Cantino (1984).


Herbs, sometimes annual, subshrubs or shrubs, sometimes aromatic; inflorescence often cylindrical or capitate, rarely secund, of 2- to several-flowered verticillasters in axils of bracts; bracts ovate, sometimes fused in pairs and flabellate (and often venose); bracteoles present only in sect. Aphanochilus, inconspicuous; calyx campanulate to cylindrical, lobes subequal, or posterior sometimes shorter, throat glabrous within; corolla white, yellowish or purplish, corolla-tube cylindrical or infundibular, usually longer than calyx, annulate or glabrous within; stamens 4, usually exserted, didynamous or not, ascending divergent, thecae divergent or divaricate, usually confluent at apex; ovary glabrous; style usually exserted beyond stamens, stigma-lobes often weakly clavate, rarely distinctly so, rarely unequal with posterior lobe shorter; nutlets 4 or rarely 1 by abortion, ovoid to oblong, glabrous or sparsely hairy, tuberculate or smooth. 2n = 16, 18, 20, 32.  About 40 species, Europe, Japan, China, Korea, introduced in N America.  Press (1982) recognizes three sections: Sect. Elsholtzia with spikes usually secund, bracts at least as broad as long, sometimes fused, membranous, veined, imbricate bracteoles absent; fruiting calyx sometimes accrescent, never inflated; stigma-lobes subulate; nutlets rugulose or nearly smooth.   Sect. Aphanochilus (Benth.) Benth.: spikes usually cylindrical, bracts linear to ovate, not membranous or imbricate, free; bracteoles present; fruiting calyx as before; stigma-lobes subulate; nutlets rugulose.  Sect. Platyelasma (Briq.) Press. ( series Platyelasmeae Briq.): spikes cylindrical, bracts at least as long as broad, not membranous or imbricate, free; bracteoles absent; fruiting calyx inflated; style lobes with clavate tips; nutlets verrucose ( E. densa Lab. & E. eriostachya (Benth.) Benth.).


Native to:

30 Siberia
31 Russian Far East
32 Middle Asia
34 Western Asia
36 China
37 Mongolia
38 Eastern Asia
40 Indian Subcontinent
41 Indo-China
42 Malesia
43 Papuasia

Introduced to:

10 Northern Europe
11 Middle Europe
13 Southeastern Europe
14 Eastern Europe


Aphanochilus Benth., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 15: t. 1282 (1829).

Cyclostegia Benth., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 15: t. 1282 (1829).

Paulseniella Briq., Bot. Tidsskr. 28: 246 (1907)., (1908).

Platyelasma Kitag. in T.Nakai, Rep. Exped. Manchoukou Sect. IV 2: 24 (1933).


Elsholtzia Willd. In Roem. & Usteri, Bot. Mag. 11: 3 (1790); Press, Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist. (Bot.) 10 (1): 1-89 (1982).


Species found in RBG Kew living collections

1994-3764 Elsholtzia fruticosa (D.Don) Rehder N SICH 1371 F 416 04 
1988-5011 Elsholtzia polystachya Benth. N SICH 379 F 416 04 
1910-65003 Elsholtzia stauntonii Benth.    F 416 03

Image resource

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew