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This species is accepted, and its native range is Rwanda to S. Tropical Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


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. Leonotis, M Iwarsson & YB Harve. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Neotype, selected by Iwarsson & Harvey, loc. cit. (2003): Malawi, without locality, 1891, Buchanan 202 (BM!, neo.)
Morphology General Habit
Shrub to small tree 1.2–8 m high, little to much branched, with one to more than 50 shoots from a woody swollen rootstock, shoots sometimes 15 cm in diameter
Morphology Stem
Stems with internodes 1–5 cm long, at apex with long antrorse velutinous hairs and sessile glands; 25–30 nodes below the apex the bark is more corky, brown to grey and with a striate surface, sometimes polished in between; nodes are thicker, more velutinous and with prominent leaf scars
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate; blade ovate, lanceolate, rarely elliptic or narrowly rhombic, 5–18.4 × (1.3–)1.5–8 cm, crenate to serrate with 10–40(–100) teeth almost to the base or basal third of leaf devoid of teeth, apex acute, base truncate to attenuate, upper surface softly velutinous-pubescent to loosely pilose, occasionally with sessile glands, lower surface generally more densely hairy, occasionally with sessile glands, with 10–22 lateral veins, venation mostly yellowish on lower surface; petiole 2–39 mm long, densely appressed velutinous-pubescent, eglandular or with scattered sessile glands
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence of (1–)3–5 verticils per branch, usually spaced by prolonged internodes 38–330 mm long; bracts leaf-like, 26–117 × 6–36 mm, hairy like the leaves; bracteoles linear to narrowly ovate, 5–20(–26) × 1–2(–3.5) mm, often a few broader (2–4 mm wide) and more leaf-like, hairy like the leaves, apiculate; verticils hemispherical, 25–50 mm in diameter, with ± 10–20 branches (1–)3–5 mm long with 8–14 buds per branch; pedicels 1–3(–6) mm long, slightly extended in fruit, shortly pubescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 12–20 mm long, ± 4 mm in diameter at mouth, (8–9–)10-toothed, basally yellowish white and the distal half green (some material has a brown ± 2 mm broad zone 4–6 mm from base of calyx) or calyx appearing orange, with short velutinous hairs to pilose, eglandular or with scattered sessile glands; mouth sometimes oblique with the (3–)5–7 anterior teeth partially united and bent outwards to form an anterior lip; teeth 0.5–6 mm long, equal or dorsal tooth longer, straight or recurved, acute and triangular, deltate or broadly mucronate, apiculate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 30–45 mm long, with orange-scarlet hairs; tube 19–27 mm long, widening at mouth, with 3 diffuse fringes within (near base); posterior lip 11–19 mm long, with a small hump distally, the hair fringe at margin 1–1.5 mm long, the (white or orange) woolly hair enclosing anthers and stigma well developed; anterior lip 3-lobed, 5–7 mm long, 2–3 mm broad, deflexed on the tube, covered with orange hairs on the outer surface
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets brown, glossy, 3–3.8 × 1.3–1.7 mm, with a marginal rim distally.

Native to:

Angola, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre

Leonotis decadonta Gürke appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Meller, C. [s.n.], Zambia K000193305 Unknown type material

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 22: 144 (1895)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Iwarsson, M. & Harvey, Y. (2003). Monograph of the genus Leonotis (Pers.) R.Br. (Lamiaceae) Kew Bulletin 58: 597-645.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34: 1-199.
  • Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Alves, T., Francisco, J., Harris, T., Nangoma, D. & de Sousa, C. (2009). Biodiversity and Conservation of Mchese Mountain, Malawi. Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036: 1-71. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • E.J. 22: 144 (1895)
  • F.T.A. 5: 493 (1900)
  • K.B. 58, fig. 2: 608 (2003).
  • Mem. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 9: 55 (1954)
  • Moriarty, Wild Fl. Malawi: 108, t. 54/2 (1975)

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

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 2021. 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 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.