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

VII. 3. Tribe Ocimeae Dumort. (1829).

VII. 3. D. Subtribe Ociminae (Dumort.) Schmidt in Martius (1858).

Subtribe Moschominae Endlicher (1838).


Shrubs or herbs, often geoxylic, usually aromatic; leaves simple; inflorescence thyrsoid with cymes sessile, 1-3-flowered; bracts usually caducous, brightly coloured at apex; calyx shortly tubular, straight or curving slightly upwards, strongly 2-lipped, 5-lobed (1/4), lobes unequal, posterior rounded, decurrent, accrescent, curving upwards, lateral lobes deltoid, anterior subulate, throat open; corolla strongly 2-lipped, 5-lobed (4/1), white, pink or purple, posterior lip ascending with median lobes smaller and exceeding lateral lobes, usually truncate, anterior lip horizontal or slightly deflexed, slightly concave, tube straight or slightly curved, dilating slightly towards throat; stamens 4, exserted, or very rarely posterior pair included, these attached just below midpoint, ciliate or glabrous, inappendiculate, anterior pair attached at corolla throat, connate; style bifid to clavate; stigma-lobes equal, linear or more rounded; disc 4-lobed with anterior lobe larger; nutlets ovoid, smooth with prominent dorsal vein, mucilaginous or not. 2n = 28.  Thirty species mainly in Southern Africa, a few in tropical Africa, one in Madagascar and one in India.  Open grassy areas or forest margins often in rocky or sandy areas.


Native to:

22 West Tropical Africa
23 West-Central Tropical Africa
24 Northeast Tropical Africa
25 East Tropical Africa
26 South Tropical Africa
27 Southern Africa
29 Western Indian Ocean
40 Indian Subcontinent


Hemizygia (Benth.) Briq., Engler and Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 4, 3a: 368 (1897); Ashby, Journ. Bot. 73: 312, 343 (1935); Codd, Bothalia 12: 1 (1976), rev.

Ocimum sect. Hemizygia Benth in DC. (1848).

Orthosiphon sensu Baker (1900) pro parte.

Orthosiphon sensu N.E. Br. (1910) pro parte.

Image resource

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew