Photos: Picton, H.; RBG, Kew slide collection

Photos: Picton, H.; RBG, Kew slide collection


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).


Tall herbs, shrubs or rarely small trees, with simple hairs; leaves simple, usually toothed; inflorescence thyrsoid, cymes many-flowered, rarely long-pedunculate; bracteoles spiny; flowers large (17-50 mm long); calyx ± zygomorphic to almost 2-lipped, 8-10-lobed, usually spinescent; corolla strongly 2-lipped, 4-lobed (1/3), posterior lip long, hooded, bearded and densely pubescent outside, with reddish, orange or cream hairs, anterior lip shorter than posterior, deflexed, soon withering; stamens not or only shortly exserted from corolla, thecae weakly distinct; stigma-lobes strongly unequal, upper lobe minute or apparently absent; nutlets oblong-trigonous, obliquely truncate and with sessile glands at apex.  2n = 24, 26, 28.  About ten spp., mostly hill slopes and rocky or disturbed ground, tropical and Southern Africa, L. nepetifolia (L.) R. Br. introduced as a weed elsewhere in tropics.  Apparently derived from within Leucas (Ryding 1998).


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
60 Southwestern Pacific

Introduced to:

40 Indian Subcontinent
41 Indo-China
42 Malesia
50 Australia
61 South-Central Pacific
79 Mexico
80 Central America
81 Caribbean
82 Northern South America
83 Western South America
84 Brazil
85 Southern South America

Doubtfully present in:

21 Macaronesia
90 Subantarctic Islands


Leonurus Mill., Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4 (1754), nom. illeg.

Hemisodon Raf., Fl. Tellur. 3: 88 (1837).


Leonotis (Pers.) R. Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl.: 504 (1810); Iwarsson, Fl. Southern Africa 28, 4: 31-38 (1985).

Phlomis L. sect. Leonotis Pers. (1807).


Species found in RBG Kew living collections

1992-1961 Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R.Br. N DEMI 3074 F JOD SEED 
2008-1406 Leonotis ocymifolia (Burm.f.) Iwarsson var. ocymifolia  KRST   TRO_N SEED 
1991-1269 Leonotis ocymifolia (Burm.f.) Iwarsson var. ocymifolia N COMP  F JOD T3 FLOOR

Image resource

© Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew