1. Family: Lamiaceae Martinov
    1. Ocimum L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropics & Subtropics.


    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

    Annual or perennial, herbs or shrubs, usually aromatic; indumentum of simple or dendroid hairs
    Stems erect, usually branching above, often woody at base
    Leaves opposite or occasionally ternate, petiolate or rarely subsessile
    Flowers hermaphrodite, arranged in generally 6-flowered verticils, in a lax or dense inflorescence; bracts small or occasionally large and brightly coloured, sometimes forming a terminal coma, persistent or, if caducous, bract-scar often developing into an auxiliary nectary
    Calyx funnel-shaped to tubular, straight, curving upwards or rarely bent downwards, 2-lipped; posterior lip large, entire, rounded at tip, decurrent on tube, curving upwards; anterior lip 4-lobed, teeth of lateral lobes lanceolate or deltate, teeth of median lobes deltate to subulate at anthesis; in fruit posterior lip accrescent, curving up or rarely flat; anterior lip sometimes closing the calyx-throat; throat sometimes densely hairy
    Corolla whitish or pinkish, strongly 2-lipped; tube straight or curved towards base, usually dorsally gibbous at midpoint, often dilating towards throat; posterior lip subequally 4-lobed or with median exceeding lateral lobes, entire or fimbriate; anterior lip ± horizontal, flat or slightly concave
    Stamens 4, declinate, equal or unequal, exserted; posterior pair attached near base of corolla, rarely sterile, exserted, filaments usually pubescent at base, often appendiculate; anterior pair attached near corolla throat, glabrous; anthers dorsifixed, synthecous
    Disk equally 4-lobed
    Ovary glabrous or with minute hairs, deeply 4-lobed; style gynobasic, bifid, branches equal, subulate
    Nutlets black or brown, ovoid or spherical, with a small basal scar or not, smooth or minutely hairy, sometimes producing mucilage on wetting or not; embryo straight, exalbuminous.
    The most commonly cultivated in the Flora area are O. basilicum, O. africanum, O. gratissimum and O. kilimandscharicum. The genus has recently been broadened to include Becium, Erythrochlamys and Nautochilus. An infrageneric arrangement is elaborated by A. Paton, R.M. Harley & M.M. Harley in Y. Holm & R. Hiltunen (eds), Ocimum: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – industrial profiles: 1–38 (1999), in Series Ed. Hardman, Harwood Academic, Amsterdam. The East African species belong to the following sections and subgenera – for more details of subsections and series see Paton et al., loc. cit. (1999).



    Native to:

    Aldabra, Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Bolivia, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Caprivi Strip, Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Chad, Chile North, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Florida, Free State, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Gulf States, Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, Honduras, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jawa, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laccadive Is., Laos, Leeward Is., Lesotho, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Maldives, Mali, Maluku, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Oman, Pakistan, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Socotra, Somalia, Southwest Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Windward Is., Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Aruba, Canary Is., Christmas I., Cook Is., East Aegean Is., Fiji, Gilbert Is., Hawaii, Illinois, Kazakhstan, Line Is., Mongolia, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Niue, Primorye, Samoa, Society Is., South European Russi, Tokelau-Manihiki, Tonga, Ukraine, Wallis-Futuna Is., Xinjiang

    Ocimum L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Craven, L.A. [1412], Papua New Guinea K000897210
    Branderhorst, B. [240], Indonesia K000897208
    Mann, E.B. [NGF43339], Papua New Guinea K000897209
    Troupin, G. [4805], Rwanda Becium 1232.000
    Ash [985], Ethiopia Becium 37006.000
    Ash [772], Ethiopia Becium 37007.000

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 597 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Paton, A.J., Bramley, G., Ryding, O., Polhill, R., Harvey, Y., Iwarsson, M., Willis, F., Phillipson, P., Balkwill, K., Lukhoba, C., Otiend, D & Harley (2009). Lamiaceae (Labiatae) Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-430.
    • 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 West Tropical Africa
    • —F.T.A. 5: 334.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • K.B. 60: 24–31(2005)
    • Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 7: 260 (2004)
    • Holm & Hiltunen, Ocimum: 1–38 (1999)
    • K.B. 49: 403–435 (1992)
    • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 259 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 597 (1753)
    • L., Sp. Pl.: 597 (1753)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Plants and People Africa
    Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
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