Aloysia virgata (Ruiz & Pav.) Juss.

First published in Ann. Mus. Hist. Nat. 7: 73 (1806)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Peru to Brazil and N. Argentina. It is a shrub and grows primarily in the subtropical biome.


Wood, J.R.I. 2009. Aloysia axillaris (Verbenaceae), a new species, with notes on the genus in Bolivia. Kew Bulletin 64: 513. DOI:

Peru, Pavon (syntype MA, n.v.; isosyntype OXF).
Synonym: Verbena virgata Ruiz & Pav. (1798: 20). Synonym: Lippia virgata (Ruiz & Pav.) Steud. (1841: 751). Aloysia virgata is a very variable species in the size, shape, dentation and indumentum of the leaves. Some of this variation has been formally recognised. In the type the leaves are ovate whereas in var. elliptica and var. platyphylla they are essentially elliptic but as all kinds of intermediate are found I have treated these as synonyms. Beck & Liberman 9856 and Solomon 6506 have deeply incised leaves and correspond to var. argutedentataMoldenke (1984) although I doubt this kind of variation merits recognition. Synonym: Lippia virgata var. ellipticaBriq. (1904: 304). Type: Paraguay, Ascención, 15 April 1874, Balansa 1016 pro parte (holotype G, n.v.; isotype K). Synonym: Aloysia virgata var. elliptica (Briq.) Moldenke (1948: 20). Synonym: Lippia virgata var. platyphyllaBriq. (1904: 304). Type: Paraguay, Ascención, Balansa 3116 (holotype G, n.v.; isotype K). Synonym: Aloysia virgata var. platyphylla (Briq.) Moldenke (1948: 20). Synonym: Aloysia urticoides Cham. (1832: 238). Type: Brazil, Sellows.n. (holotype LE, n.v. ; possible isotype ex Herb. Benth, K).
Morphology General Habit
Distinguished by the relatively large (4 – 9 × 1.5 – 6 cm), dentate, typically acute leaves arranged in opposite pairs and by the inflorescence of lax, often flexuose, axillary racemes, in which the flower bases are easily visible
Morphology Leaves
The leaves are commonly broadest in the middle and narrowed gradually at both ends and are ovate to elliptic in outline. They are green on both surfaces although often paler and variably hirsute beneath
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
The lax, flexuose racemes of white flowers, often several per leaf axil, are very characteristic. There is some introgression with Aloysiascorodonoides, which is discussed under that species below
A lowland species extending around the south of the Amazonian basin from Peru through Bolivia to Brazil and then southwards through the Chaco to Paraguay and northern Argentina. In Bolivia it is frequent in secondary scrub and disturbed bushland up to 1500 m and exceptionally to 2750 m. It is generally scattered in occurrence but is perhaps most frequent around the chaco margins. It is the most lowland of the species discussed here and the only one to occur below 750 m in Bolivia apart from the cultivated Aloysiapolystachya.

Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E.

Predicted extinction risk: not threatened. Confidence: confident


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