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

VII. 2. Tribe Mentheae Dumort. (1827).

VII. 2. A. Subtribe Salviinae (Dumort.) Endl. (1838).


Shrub, gynodioecious (possibly dioecious in M. strobilifera Benth.), strongly aromatic, with simple and dendroid hairs (dendroid hairs glandular in M. strobilifera); leaves simple, hastate to rounded, rugose, margins serrulate to subentire; inflorescence terminal and axillary, a compact and 4-angled or interrupted spiciform thyrse of many-flowered, sessile verticillasters; bracts ovate-acuminate, caducous or persistent; bracteoles absent; calyx 2-lipped, 3-lobed (1/2), posterior lip broader, subentire or obscurely 3-lobed, lobes connivent, anterior lip shorter, tube cylindrical, 9-11-veined, calyx erect or spreading in fruit, with lips open; corolla small, 2-lipped, 4-5-lobed (1-2/3), white or pale lilac, anterior lip usually longer than posterior, tube straight, annulate or exannulate; stamens 2 fertile, posterior pair absent or staminodal (in M. bengalensis (Koenig ex Roxb.) Benth.), anterior pair exserted, except in female flowers, thecae 2, elongate, curved, divergent and often slightly unequal, connective inconspicuous; stigma-lobes unequal or subequal, flattened; disc 4-lobed; nutlets elongate, oblong-apiculate or obovoid-elliptic smooth, mucilaginous or not.  Two species, M. strobilifera in N India, M. bengalensis in Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopia and cultivated in Indian subcontinent.


Native to:

24 Northeast Tropical Africa
35 Arabian Peninsula
40 Indian Subcontinent


Meriandra Benth., in Edwards's Bot. Reg. 15: t. 1282 (1829); Bokhari & Hedge, Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 31 (1): 53-67 (1971).

Image resource

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew