Photos: Bramley, G.


VI. Subfam. Lamioideae Harley (2003)

Subfam. Stachyoideae (Dumort.) Luerss. (1882); Briq. in Engl. & Prantl (1895) et auct. mult., p.p., typ. incl.

Subfam. Prasioideae (Benth.) Thomé (1889)

Subfam. Pogostemonoideae P.D. Cantino, Harley & Wagstaff in Harley & Reynolds (1992).


Annual or rhizomatous or stoloniferous perennial herbs, pubescent with simple hairs; leaves toothed to deeply lobed, at least lower petiolate; inflorescence thyrsoid; calyx 5-lobed, lobes subequal or unequal (1/4); corolla strongly 2-lipped, 4-5-lobed, (1-2/3), pink, purple, yellow or white, posterior lip long, hooded, often ± arched, often densely hairy outside, anterior lip with lateral lobes short and broad with 1-2 teeth or triangular-acute, median lobe mostly broadly obcordate-emarginate, less often narrower and acute, tube usually abruptly widened above; stamens not or very shortly exserted from corolla, anthers hairy or glabrous, thecae weakly distinct, bearded or glabrous; stigma-lobes subequal or slightly unequal; nutlets truncate or subtruncate at apex, glabrous.  2n = (14), 18, 36.  Seventeen to c. 30 spp., mainly disturbed ground, hill slopes and forests, temperate regions of Old World, from Europe and Northern Africa to E Asia, introduced to other temperate or mountainous areas.  Many authors place the divergent L. galeobdolon (L.) L. in a separate genus, characterized by having glabrous anthers, spiny bracts and calyx lobes, with an acute rather narrow median lobe of the lower lip of the corolla and with longer lateral corolla-lobes.  The species is here included in Lamium due to lack of a legitimate genus name; the two genus names commonly applied, Lamiastrum and Galeobdolon, are both nomenclatoral synonyms of Leonurus.  The very distinctive L. galeobdolon (L.) L. is perhaps better placed in a separate genus Lamiastrum, characterised by having a narrow, acute mid-lobe of anterior corolla-lip.  Some of the species described under Galeobdolon are perhaps more closely related to Matsumurella (see under this genus).  Most authors treat Wiedemannia as a separate genus characterized by having 1/4 unequal calyx-lobes, but see Ryding (2003).  The generic affinities of L. staintonii Hedge and L. nepalense Hedge are uncertain. L. tuberosum Hedge seems to be close to the genus Alajja.


Native to:

10 Northern Europe
11 Middle Europe
12 Southwestern Europe
13 Southeastern Europe
14 Eastern Europe
20 Northern Africa
21 Macaronesia
24 Northeast Tropical Africa
26 South Tropical Africa
27 Southern Africa
30 Siberia
31 Russian Far East
32 Middle Asia
33 Caucasus
34 Western Asia
35 Arabian Peninsula
36 China
37 Mongolia
38 Eastern Asia
40 Indian Subcontinent

Introduced to:

50 Australia
51 New Zealand
70 Subarctic America
71 Western Canada
72 Eastern Canada
73 Northwestern U.S.A.
74 North-Central U.S.A.
75 Northeastern U.S.A.
76 Southwestern U.S.A.
77 South-Central U.S.A.
78 Southeastern U.S.A.
79 Mexico
83 Western South America
85 Southern South America
90 Subantarctic Islands


Orvala L., Sp. Pl.: 578 (1753).

Lamiastrum Heist. ex Fabr., Enum.: 51 (1759).

Galeobdolon Adans., Fam. Pl. 2: 190 (1763).

Pollichia Schrank, Act. Erford. 3: 35 (1782)., (1781), non Pollichia Aiton.

Psilopsis Neck., Elem. Bot. 1: 319 (1790), opus utique oppr.

Wiedemannia Fisch. & C.A.Mey., Index Seminum (LE) 4: 51 (1838).

Lamiopsis Opiz, Seznam: 56 (1852).

Lamiella Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon, n.s., 17: 134 (1869).


Lamium L., Sp. Pl. 2: 579 (1753); Mennema, Leiden Botanical Series 11: 1-196 (1989).


Species found in RBG Kew living collections

1980-3252 Lamium 'Silberteppich'  NTTT   167 01 
1940-9205 Lamium flexuosum Ten.  CAMB  F 157 22 
2003-51 Lamium galeobdolon 'Hermann's Pride'  HOPL   135 02 
1969-35492 Lamium galeobdolon 'Variegatum'     758  
2004-1837 Lamium galeobdolon subsp. montanum  COBL   111 06 
1972-1695 Lamium garganicum L. N MAWS 7006 F 154 0910 
1995-3396 Lamium garganicum L. subsp. striatum (Sibth.& Sm.) Hayek var. microphyllum (Boiss.) Mennema N ROLR sn F ALP_H 01   :  ALP_N CSF C 3g3b1c
2003-58 Lamium maculatum 'Beacon Silver'  NOTTS   122  
2006-1429 Lamium maculatum L.  PERH   111 07 
1969-19284 Lamium maculatum L.    F 157 22 
1961-6501 Lamium orvala L.  VIEN  F 111 21 
1969-19297 Lamium orvala L.  WHYA  F 166 03 

Image resource

© Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew