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  1. Family: Lamiaceae Martinov
    1. Genus: Ocimum L.
      1. Ocimum decumbens Gürke

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Central & E. Tropical to S. Africa.


    Lamiaceae (Labiatae), A.J. Paton, G. Bramley, O. Ryding, R.M. Polhill, Y.B. Harvey, M. Iwarsson, F. Willis, P.B. Phillipson, K. Balkwill, C.W. Lukhoba, D.F. Otieno, & R.M. Harley. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

    Type: Tanzania, Mbeya/Chunya District: Unyiha, Goetze 1458 (B†, holo. BM!, E!, iso.)
    Aromatic perennial herb with several stems arising from a thick woody rootstock, or more rarely a shrub, 15–150 cm tall
    Stems decumbent to erect, roundedquadrangular, simple or branched, pubescent or villous and with sessile glands
    Leaves opposite or ternate, usually deflexed or spreading and only deflexed in the apical portion, sometimes with fascicles of younger leaves in the axils; blade folded along midrib but folding sometimes confined to the apex, ovate to broadly ovate or rotund, 0.5–2.2 × 0.3–1.4 cm, entire or serrate, apex acute, base cuneate, sparsely to densely pubescent; petioles 0.5–5 mm long
    Inflorescence ± condensed, with 6–9flowered verticils touching in flower, up to 25 mm apart in fruit; bracts narrowly ovate, to 4 mm long, erect above forming an inconspicuous apical coma, soon deciduous, the scar forming a bowl-shaped nectary; pedicels 1–2 mm long, ascending, slightly flattened
    Calyx 3–5 mm long in flower, pubescent and with sessile glands; posterior lip often purplish, obovate, mucronate at apex, densely ciliate; lateral lobes of anterior lip truncate, densely ciliate and fimbriate towards subulate-aristate median lobes; fruiting calyx 6–9 mm long
    Corolla pinkish or white marked purple, 7–14 mm long; tube 4–7(–9) mm long, slightly curved, dorsally gibbous, abruptly dilated at throat; lobes of posterior lip toothed or fimbriate; anterior lip horizontal, concave around filaments
    Stamens exserted 10–15 mm
    Nutlets pale brown, broadly ovoid, 1.5–2 mm long, smooth, producing mucilage when wet
    Fig 23: 1–2, p 140
    Grassland prone to burning, sometimes in areas liable to flood; 950–3100 m
    Least concern
    This is a very polymorphic taxon, with local apparently distinct populations. However, when the total range is considered, it becomes very difficult to separate these forms clearly and unambiguously. The problem is discussed in more detail in K.B. 50: 238–239 (1995). Intermediates occur with O. obovatum var. obovatum; see note under that taxon.
    Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Angola, Zambia and Malawi Flora districts: U1 K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 T4 T7



    Native to:

    Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Northern Provinces, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre


    Other Data

    Ocimum decumbens Gürke appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Thomson [s.n.], Tanzania K000347102 Unknown type material
    Kenya K000347101 syntype


    First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 30: 400 (1901)

    Accepted by

    • Paton, A.J., Bramley, G., Ryding, O., Polhill, R.M., Harvey, Y.B., Iwarsson, M., Otieno, D., Balkwill, K., Phillipson, P.B., Harley, R.M. & Willis, F. (2013). Flora Zambesiaca 8(8): 1-346. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Holm & Hiltunen, Ocimum: 34 (1999).
    • E.J. 30: 400 (1901)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.