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This species is accepted, and its native range is E. Kenya to NE. Tanzania.
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. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Types: Kenya, Kwale District: between Teita and Vanga, Fischer 509 (B†, holo.) neotype, chosen by Paton, loc. cit. (1992): Kenya, Kwale District: 72 km from Mombasa on Nairobi road, Greenway 10855 (K!, neo. EA, isoneo.)
Morphology General Habit
Aromatic perennial herb or shrub to 1 m tall
Morphology Stem
Stems erect or straggling, roundedquadrangular, much branched, branches often twiggy, woody at base with epidermis often tearing in strips, arising from a woody rootstock; indumentum of short, dense, retrorse hairs with longer, straight hairs at nodes
Morphology Leaves
Leaves usually with fascicles of young leaves in axils; blade often folded along midrib on drying, linear to narrowly ovate, 1.2–5 × 0.3–0.8 cm, entire, apex rounded, base attenuate, with indumentum of short appressed hairs, glandular-punctate; petiole 1–5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence lax, verticils 8–12 mm apart; bracts large, red or pinkish, membranous, erect forming a large conspicuous coma, obscuring buds and shoot apex, deciduous below, broadly elliptic, 7–10 × 5–6 mm, acuminate at apex, attenuate at base, pilose, with sparse red gland dots; pedicels erect or ascending, ± 3 mm long, slightly curved, ± flattened.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx ± downward-pointing, 3–4 mm long at anthesis, pilose or hoary, interior with a dense ring of hairs at throat; posterior lip rounded at tip, decurrent; median teeth of anterior lip lanceolate, accuminate, teeth of lateral lobes ± deltate, cuspidate; fruiting calyx 5–6 mm long, throat open, posterior lip accrescent, rounded at tip, decurrent, lateral and anterior teeth slightly convergent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla bright mauve or purple, 7–10 mm long; tube 5 mm long, 1.5–2 times as long as the calyx tube, straight, funnel-shaped
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens exserted 4–7 mm, posterior with a large, fleshy, terete, glabrous or subgabrous outgrowth near base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets black or grey, ovoid, 1.5 mm long, ± smooth, mucilaginous when wet.
Acacia-Commiphora bushland and scrub, often on rocky ground; 100–500 m
Least concern
The large coloured bracts make this species superficially similar to Syncolostemon. However, the floral structure is very different between Ocimum and Syncolostemon, the most obvious difference being the fused anterior staminal filaments of the latter.
Range: Not known elsewhere Flora districts: K4 K7 T3

Native to:

Kenya, Tanzania

Ocimum fischeri Gürke appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jul 1, 1990 Greenway, P.J. [10855], Kenya K000347058 neotype
Greenway, P.J. [10855], Kenya Hemizygia fischeri 27041.000

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 19: 195 (1894)

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.
  • 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.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • E.J. 19: 195 (1894)
  • F.T.A. 5: 340 (1900)
  • Holm & Hiltunen, Ocimum: 26 (1999).
  • K.B. 47: 428 (1992)
  • P.O.A. C: 350 (1895)

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.