Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is Brazil (Bahia).


Harley, R.M. 2014. Four new taxa of Oocephalus (Hyptidinae: Lamiaceae) from Bahia, Brazil. Kew Bulletin 69: 9539. DOI

Very similar conditions to the previous species: known only from two collections, where very few individuals were observed, in approximately the same locality, but in an area not distant from urban development and traditional agriculture and subject to occasional uncontrolled burning. It fulfils the conditions to be assessed as Critically Endangered.
South America: NE Brazil. Known only from the Serra do Tombador, on the outskirts of the town of Rio de Contas.
In campo rupestre and transition to low, dry forest.
Morphology General Habit
Erect shrub with few, erect, ±unbranched stems <1.0 – 1.5 m tall, arising from a stout woody rootstock, stems 3 – 5 mm diam., weakly quadrangular, densely grey-tomentose, usually defoliating readily towards the base
Morphology Leaves
Cauline leaves with petiole 2 – 3 mm long, thickened, hairy, lamina 2.5 – 3.5 × 2.5 – 3.5 cm, decreasing in size towards stem apex, strongly coriaceous, becoming rigid, thickened, rotund, slightly broader, or as broad as long, with apex rounded and base strongly cordate, adaxial surface often glossy, with thickened cuticle, almost glabrous except for sunken, grey-tomentose midrib, otherwise venation obscure, and entire surface with rather densely scattered, minute, stipitate, yellowish glands, abaxial surface grey-tomentose, conspicuously and prominently reticulately veined, veins somewhat incrassate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers shortly pedicellate, calyx at anthesis c. 6 mm long, tube narrowly cylindrical, 3 – 3.5 mm long, externally hairy with scattered sessile glands, apparently glabrous within except for a dense ring of erect, whitish hairs in throat, lobes subequal, 2.5 – 3 mm long, slightly incurved, calyx in fruit c. 8.0 – 8.5 mm long, tube 4.5 – 5.0 mm long, cylindrical, lobes 3.5 mm long, subequal, erect, narrowly triangular at base, with long, narrowly subulate acumen
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla pale lilac, with tube c. 7 – 8 mm long, hairy distally on outer surface, stamen filaments and style purplish, anthers yellowish orange
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets not seen.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence an elongate thyrse, 15 – 20 cm long and 1.5 – 2.5 cm broad, interrupted below, with clusters of many-flowered, congested cymules, sessile or with peduncles <1 mm long from the axils of very small leaf-like bracts, cymules with involucre of bracteoles, the outer 6 × 2 – 2.5 mm, narrowly ovate, rigid and strongly concave on adaxial side, apex acuminate, often purple-tinged, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface hairy, inner bracteoles narrower, 7 – 8 × 1 – 1.5 mm
Very similar to Oocephalus lythroides, from the Distrito Federal, Brasília (see earlier footnote), with a thick, elongate terminal spiciformthyrse and sessile or subsessile rotund to broadly cordate leaves, but differing in the longer spikes, 15 – 20 cm long, usually with lower cymes remote (in lythroides: 2.5 – 7 (– 12) cm long with cymes congested). Leaves with upper surface subglabrous, with the lower surface grey-tomentose below, vs in lythroides with scattered short, broad-based, curved whitish hairs, and less hairy than O. rigens on lower surface. Cymules with outer, concave bracteoles 6 mm long, narrowly ovate vs in lythroides 9 – 11 mm long, usually narrowly lanceolate, whitish hairy externally. Calyx at anthesis 6 mm long, accrescent in fruit, with lobes 2.5 – 3.5 mm long vs lythroides with calyx at anthesis 9 – 9.5 mm long, scarcely accrescent, with lobes 4 – 4.5 mm long. The inflorescences of O. lythroides are notably whitish, due the presence of the characteristic whitish hairs on the bracts, bracteoles and calices, which are not apparent in O. rigens. See also under O. ganevii, which lists the characters which differentiate this species from O. rigens.

The specific epithet refers to rigid stems and leaves.


Flowering Nov. – March.

Type: Brazil. Bahia, Município de Rio de Contas. Serra do Tombador, 13°38'03""S, 41°47'59""W, alt. 1380 m, campo rupestre, 19 Nov. 1996, Roque, Batista, Hind & Harley PCD 4510 (holotype HUEFS!, isotypes UFBA!, K!).

Native to:

Brazil Northeast

Oocephalus rigens Harley appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Kew Bull. 69(4)-9539: 4 (2014)

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 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.