Photo: Bramley, G.

Photos: Bramley, G.; de Kok, B.


III. Subfam. Ajugoideae Kostel. (1834).

Subfam. Teucrioideae (Dumort.) Caruel (1884).


Shrubs, subshrubs and perennial herbs (rarely lianas or small trees), ill-scented; leaves opposite or whorled, usually sessile or short-petiolate, simple, entire or toothed; inflorescence a terminal thyrse (usually lax, paniculiform) or axillary cyme, occasionally reduced to solitary, axillary flowers; calyx actinomorphic or nearly so, not accrescent, 5-lobed or truncate; corolla blue, purple or white (rarely yellow), subactinomorphic to 1-lipped and then with only anterior lip present, 5-lobed, lobes subequal or anterior lobe largest and often concave and different in colour, tube straight or curved, often gibbous, corolla in bud asymmetrical; stamens 4, didynamous to subequal, long-exserted, filaments arched or straight, anther-thecae parallel, separate at dehiscence; pollen with supratectal spinules; ovary unlobed in flower but becoming lobed during fruit development; stigma-lobes equal or frequently unequal; disc poorly to well developed; fruit drupaceous, 4-lobed, the lobes sometimes elongating greatly during development, eventually separating into fleshy 1-seeded mericarps; endosperm absent.  2n = 48, 52, 184.  Fifty to 60 species, mostly of sub-Saharan Africa but a few in Madagascar, the Indian Ocean islands, southern Asia, and Indonesia.  Although Rotheca has been included within Clerodendrum by most authors, there is strong molecular evidence that its inclusion renders Clerodendrum polyphyletic (Steane et al. 1997, 1999).  The two genera also differ in their iridoid compounds (Stenzel et al. 1988).


Native to:

23 West-Central Tropical Africa
24 Northeast Tropical Africa
25 East Tropical Africa
26 South Tropical Africa
27 Southern Africa
36 China
40 Indian Subcontinent
41 Indo-China
42 Malesia

Introduced to:

22 West Tropical Africa

Present, but doubtfully native in:

29 Western Indian Ocean


Cyclonema Hochst., Flora 25: 225 (1842).

Spironema Hochst., Flora 25: 226 (1842), nom. illeg.

Cyrtostemma Kunze, Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 1: 272 (1843).

Kalaharia Baill., Hist. Pl. 11: 110 (1892)., (1891).


Rotheca Raf., Fl. Tell. 4: 69 (1838); Steane and Mabberley, Novon 8: 204 - 206 (1998).

Clerodendrum L. subg. Cyclonema (Hochst.) Guerke (1895).

Clerodendrum L. subg. Clerodendrum sect. Konocalyx Verdc. (1992).


Image resource

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew