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

Type: cultivated in Paris from seed collected by Bruce in Ethiopia (P-LA, holo. microfiche!)
Morphology General Habit
Perennial aromatic shrub to 2.5 m tall
Morphology Stem
Stems erect, rounded-quadrangular, woody, densely pubescent or tomentose with antrorse hairs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves spreading or ascending, sometimes paler beneath, petiolate; blade ovate, broadly ovate or elliptical, 1–6 × 0.6–3 cm, entire or serrate, apex acute, obtuse or rounded, base cuneate, sparsely pubescent to tomentose, glandular-punctate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence condensed or lax with 6-flowered verticils up to 30 mm apart; bracts purplish, narrowly ovate to ovate, 4–5 mm long, erect above forming a small apical coma, soon deciduous, the scar forming a bowl-shaped nectary; pedicels ascending, 3 mm long, flattened, distally curved
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 4–5 mm long at anthesis, pubescent and with sessile glands; posterior lip purplish, obovate, mucronate at apex; lateral lobes of anterior lip truncate, ciliate and ± fimbriate towards subulate-aristate median lobes; fruiting calyx 10–13 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla white marked purple or purplish-pink, 14–15 mm long; tube 9 mm long, slightly curved, dorsally gibbous, dilating abruptly at throat; lobes of posterior lip fimbriate; anterior lip horizontal cucullate around filaments
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens exserted from corolla throat 10–25 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets pale brown, broadly ovoid, 2 mm long, smooth, producing a small amount of mucilage when wet.

Native to:

Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania

Ocimum grandiflorum Lam. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2009 Friedberg [E5], Ethiopia K000248499
s.coll. [s.n.] K000509553
Schimper [151], Ethiopia K000347071
Ash [1636], Ethiopia Becium grandiflorum 35569.000
Ash [1812], Ethiopia Becium grandiflorum 35881.000

First published in Encycl. 1: 387 (1785)

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.


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Hedberg, I., Kelbessa, E., Edwards, S., Demissew, S. & Persson, E. (eds.) (2006). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 5: 1-690. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Encycl. Méth. Bot. 1: 387 (1785)
  • Holm & Hiltunen, Ocimum: 31 (1999).
  • Holm & Hiltunen, Ocimum: 31 (1999)

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.