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This species is accepted, and its native range is Colombia.


Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Endémica y nativa en Colombia; Alt. 700 m.; Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Morphology General Habit
Subarbusto, arbusto
Datos Insuficientes


Harley, R.M. & Paton, A.J. 2012. Kew Bulletin 67: 45.

IUCN (2001) category Data Deficient.
Only known from type.
Not known: see discussion below.
Morphology General Habit
Shrub or subshrub, height unrecorded
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate, petioles 1 – 2 cm long, lamina membranous, discolorous, 5 – 13 × 2 – 5.5 cm, elliptic-lanceolate, apex acuminate, base narrowly attenuate into petiole, margin shallowly serrate, with many teeth, each with small hydathode at apex, margin entire towards base of lamina, both surfaces glabrous except along midrib and along some primary nerves, with scattered dendroid trichomes, and scattered sessile glands throughout, adaxial surface dark green, with reticulate, prominulous venation, abaxial surface pale green, venation prominent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 4, declinate, glabrous, inappendiculate; anterior pair exserted from tube and ± equalling anterior corolla lip, with filaments c. 2 mm long, adnate to corolla within throat, posterior stamens included within corolla tube, filaments 3.5 – 4.0 mm long, adnate to corolla in mid-tube, anthers c. 0.8 mm wide, synthecous with divaricate thecae
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx at anthesis c. 4 – 5 mm long; tube c. 2.0 × 1.2 mm, campanulate, oblique at throat with anterior teeth close together, the sinus separating the posterior lobe from the four anterior lobes; posterior lip 2.0 – 2.5 mm long, ovate with apex acute, shortly decurrent along tube, possibly purple-tinged; anterior lip 1.3 – 1.8 mm long, with 4 narrowly deltate to subulate lobes 0.5 – 1.0 mm long, calyx externally with short dendroid trichomes, denser towards base, and scattered sessile glands, tube internally glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla red, 13 – 15 mm long, tube cylindrical, <13 mm long, dilating very gradually toward throat and abruptly deflexed 1 – 2 mm above base, externally thinly hairy with short, dendroid hairs and with scattered sessile glands, except at glabrous base, internally glabrous except for many small, sessile glands and a dense ring of forward-pointing, simple hairs at angle of corolla-tube; anterior lip c. 2 – 2.2 mm long, oblong, horizontally spreading and distinctly cucullate; posterior lip horizontal, slightly 3-lobed, equalling or slightly shorter than anterior lip
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Gynoecium with 4-lobed disc; style glabrous, exserted from corolla at anthesis, deflexed below apex and minutely bilobed with lobes, conical, acute adpressed, <0.05 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruiting calyx and nutlets not seen
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a rather lax terminal thyrse <20 cm long, lacking coma of bracts, axis quadrangular with deeply sulcate faces, indumentum as on stems but usually sparser; bracts sessile, much reduced, ± ovate, apex usually cuspidate, pubescent with dendroid trichomes and sessile glands, becoming caducous at anthesis, subtending usually 3 flowers, with pedicels c. 2 – 2.5 mm long, densely pubescent as bracts
Morphology Stem
Stems quadrangular, faces sulcate (in dried material), often densely covered with elongate, dendroid trichomes consisting of a thickened axis and many short, conical, prickle-like branches, and with scattered, sessile, glands
Orthosiphon americanus is at present known from only two duplicate specimens bearing minimal label data, collected in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, northern Colombia. This is a large, isolated and still relatively botanically unexplored area, occupying 12,232 km², between 0 and 5,776 m altitude above sea level, in the departments of Magdalena, La Guajira and Cesar (see Rangel & Garzón 1997), from which much of the following data is extracted. Parts of the area are within a National Park and large areas are also Amerindian Reserves. The main mountain massif occurs mostly between latitudes 10°30' and 11°00'N, and has a very varied geology, with igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary formations, including sandstones and limestones. The area is noted for its rich and varied flora, with many species endemic to it, especially in the Paramo vegetation, occurring in the altitudinal zone between about 3,300 and 4,500 m (Cleef et al. 1984). Here, detailed studies on the mountain’s ecosystems, especially of the northern slopes, have been carried out by van der Hammen (1984).

Native to:


Orthosiphon americanus Harley & A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Kew Bull. 67: 46 (2012)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. Scientific Data 8: 215.


Kew Bulletin

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Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • ColPlantA (2021). "ColPlantA. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet;"

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

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 Bulletin
Kew Bulletin

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.