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).


Perennial herb, with simple hairs; leaves ovate or rarely elongate, toothed, petiolate; inflorescence lax, thyrsoid, cymes up to 3-flowered, or sometimes racemoid; calyx rather broadly obconical, 2-lipped (1/2), posterior lip large, entire or irregularly dentate, anterior lip of 2 broadly triangular-obtuse lobes; corolla strongly 2-lipped, 4-lobed (1/3), large (25-40 mm long), white to purple with darker purple markings on anterior lip, posterior lip moderately long, entire, shallowly hooded; stamens not exserted from corolla, thecae distinct; stigma-lobes short and subequal; nutlets rounded at apex, shallowly and irregularly reticulate, eglandular hairy.  2n = (24), 30, 36.  One sp., M. melissophyllum L. , mostly in forests, W, C, S and E Europe, Asia: N. Turkey.


Native to:

10 Northern Europe
11 Middle Europe
12 Southwestern Europe
13 Southeastern Europe
14 Eastern Europe
34 Western Asia


Melissophyllum Hill, Brit. Herb.: 367 (1756).

Oenonea Bubani, Fl. Pyren. 1: 430 (1897).


Melittis L., Sp. Pl. 2: 597 (1753); Klokov, Not. Syst. Leningrad 18: 183 (1957).


Species found in RBG Kew living collections

1976-3009 Melittis melissophyllum L. N BSKX 51 F 167 01 
1971-1873 Melittis melissophyllum L. N PNHM  F 166 02

Image resource

© Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew