Isodon coetsa (Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don) Kudô

This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Asia.


Suddee, S., A. J. Paton, & Parnell, J. (2004). A Taxonomic Revision of Tribe Ocimeae Dumort. (Lamiaceae) in Continental South East Asia I. Introduction, Hyptidinae & Hanceolinae. Kew Bulletin, 59(3), 337-378. doi:10.2307/4110949

Himalaya, India, Sri Lanka, China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia & Indonesia.
In open bamboo forest, grasslands, disturbed areas, along paths in evergreen forest; 700 - 2200 m.
Morphology General Habit
Erect or ascending perennial herb or undershrub up to 3 m tall, occasionally creeping
Morphology Leaves
Leaves membranous to chartaceous, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 35 - 120 x 8 - 60 mm, apex acute or acuminate, base obtuse or shortly cuneate, sometimes decurrent on petiole, margin serrate, occasionally dentate, puberulous, scaberulous or softly pubescent with hairs denser on veins above, puberulous on veins otherwise glabrous, or softly pubescent or tomentose all over beneath, dotted with minute sessile glands on both sides or only beneath, veins prominent both sides or only beneath; petioles 5-30 mm long, pubescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens included in anterior corolla lip; anterior pair insertion varying from above the middle of corolla tube to around the base of anterior corolla lip, glabrous or only slightly pubescent at base; posterior pair inserted near the base of corolla tube, villous at base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx campanulate, 2 - 3 mm at anthesis, campanulate or tubular-campanulate, 3 - 5 mm long in fruit, inconspicuously 2-lipped; teeth subequal, ovate-triangular, acute at apex, margin sometimes ciliate; tube declinate, 10-nerved, twice or more as long as teeth, glabrescent or hoary pubescent, with sessile glands outside, not gibbous at anterior base; transverse nerves prominent, especially at calyx throat and teeth
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla blue or pale purple, occasionally white, declinate, 5 - 10 mm long; posterior lip subequally 4-lobed, lobes rounded or obtuse at apex, pubescent, with sessile glands on back; anterior lip orbicular or ovate-oblong, 2.5 - 6 mm long, concave, glabrous inside, glabrous or pubescent, with sessile glands outside; tube 2.5 - 4 mm long, tubular, abruptly expanded above the narrow base and slightly gibbous on posterior side, pubescent on anterior side inside, pubescent, with or without sessile glands outside
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Disc
Disc with anterior side slightly developed, lobes obscure
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style shorter or longer than stamens, included or exceeding anterior corolla lip
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets brown or black, ovoid or oblong, c. 1 mm long, smooth or tuberculate, producing mucilage when wet or not.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence terminal and axillary, composed of several lax narrow raceme-like branches, forming a large panicle; cymes lax or dense 3 - 7-flowered, sometimes corymbose appearance; bracts ovate, ovate-lanceolate, lanceolate or orbicular; bracteoles linear or linear-oblong, c. 1 mm long, pubescent, caducous or persistent; pedicels 1 - 3 mm long at anthesis, 3 - 5 mm long in fruit, glabrescent to pubescent
Morphology Stem
Stems sometimes woody at base, much branched, hollow, quadrangular, rounded or round-quadrangular, glabrous, glabrescent or pubescent, sometimes tomentose
After study of the types and other specimens from different parts of Asia, we conclude that this species is extremely variable in hairiness, and in leaf, corolla and calyx size. There is no clear discontinuity in these characters, especially in the indumentum of the stem and leaf which most of the previous works have used to split this species into varieties. Murata (1971) did not recognise varieties and placed the hairy forms P. menthoides, P. macraei, P. rugosus var. tomentosus and P. cavaleriei as synonyms of Isodon coetsa. Li (1988 & in Li & Hedge 1994) recognised the hairy form as Isodon coetsa var. cavaleriei and also mentioned that this species is variable. He placed P. macraei as a synonym of I. coetsa var. cavaleriei but recognised P. menthoides as a synonym under I. coetsa var. coetsa. Li (1988) recognised I. javanicus as a separate species from I. coetsa and placed it in a different series. There is no clear discontinuity in characters to divide this variable species into varieties. Existing keys are difficult to use. To reduce the confusion surrounding the names and to produce a functional taxonomy, the names above are here reduced to synonymy under I. coetsa.
Flowering August -January, fruiting October - April.
Nepal, Narainhetty, 21 Oct. 1802, Buch.-Ham. s.n. (holotype BM!). Ocimum coetsa (Buch.-Ham. ex D.

Native to:

Assam, Bangladesh, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam, West Himalaya

Isodon coetsa (Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don) Kudô appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jun 1, 2013 Fargas [929], China K000938072
Jan 1, 2012 Blume, C.L.von [s.n.], Jawa K000855875 isolectotype
Jan 1, 2009 Charoenphol [4553], Thailand K000248454
Jan 1, 2001 Elmer, A.D.E. [8406], Philippines K000855879
Jan 1, 2001 Merrill, E.D. [4554], Philippines K000855882 Unknown type material
Jan 1, 2001 Wallich, N. [2744], India K001067896 lectotype
Hooker, J.D. [s.n.], India K000357671 Unknown type material
Wilson, E.H. [4384], China K000829870
Koorders, S.H. [134], Indonesia K000855859
Horsfield, T. [s.n.], Indonesia K000855860
s.coll. [s.n.], Indonesia K000855861
Voogd, C. de [2098], Indonesia K000855867
Koorders, S.H. [23835], Indonesia K000855871
Koorders, S.H. [37617], Indonesia K000855872
Hooker, J.D. [s.n.], Sri Lanka K001067897
Wirawan, N. [507], Indonesia K000855868
Koorders, S.H. [43517ß], Indonesia K000855863
Enoh, M. [238], Indonesia K000855876
Mendosa, D.R. [40947], Philippines K000855880
Soewarta [63], Indonesia K000855874
s.coll. [s.n.], Indonesia K000855869
Argent, G. [003], Indonesia K000855878
Steenis, C.G.G.J. van [11039], Indonesia K000855873
Hooker, J.D. [448], Sri Lanka K001067898 syntype
Jacquemonth, V. [s.n.] K001067892
Strachy, R. and J.E.Winterbottom [7], India K000357669 Unknown type material
Junghuhn, F. [10], Indonesia K000855866
Robinson, H.C. [s.n.], Indonesia K000855857
Merrill, E.D. [11654], Philippines K000855881
s.coll. [5875], Indonesia K000855870
Hooker, J.D. [s.n.], India K001067890
McDonald [4939], Indonesia K000855877
Gard [s.n.], India K001067949
Wallich, N. [2743], Nepal K001067891
Duthie, J.F. [1217], India K000357670 Unknown type material
Wight, R. [2505], India K001067948 Unknown type material
Koorders, S.H. [134], Indonesia K000855858
Wallich, N. [2743], India K001067947
Hooker, J.D. [15], India K001067894 syntype
Koorders, S.H. [43222ß], Indonesia K000855864
Hooker, J.D. [1984], India K001067895 syntype
Wilson, E.H. [4380], China K000829871
Koorders, S.H. [27789], Indonesia K000855862
Junghuhn, F. [4], Indonesia K000855865
Wallich, N. [2743], India K001067893
Govan, G. [Cat. no. 2743], India Plectranthus coetsa K001116996
Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 2743], Nepal Plectranthus coetsa K001116997
Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 2743], Nepal Plectranthus coetsa K001116993
Govan, G. [Cat. no. 2743], India Plectranthus coetsa K001116995
Blinkworth, R. [Cat. no. 2743], India Plectranthus coetsa K001116994
Jan 1, 1964 Kostermans, A. [18780], Indonesia Plectranthus javanicus K000897641

First published in Mem. Fac. Sci. Taihoku Imp. Univ. 2: 131 (1929)

Accepted by

  • Balkrishna, A. (2018). Flora of Morni Hills (Research & Possibilities): 1-581. Divya Yoga Mandir Trust.
  • Bramley, G.L.C. (2019). Flora Malesiana 23: 1-444. Noordhoff-Kolff N.V., Djakarta.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Khanam, M. & Hassan, M.A. (2008). Lamiaceae Flora of Bangladesh 58: 1-161. Bangladesh National Herbarium, Dhaka.
  • Rahman, M.O. (2004). Second list of angiospermic taxa of Bangladesh not included in Hooker's 'Flora of British India' and Prain's 'Bengal Plants': series I Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy 11: 77-82.


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Bramley, G.L.C. (2019). Flora Malesiana 23: 1-444. Noordhoff-Kolff N.V., Djakarta.

  • Art and Illustrations in Digifolia

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Bulletin

    Kew Bulletin

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.