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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Cosmopolitan.


Harley, R.M. et al. (2004). Labiatae, in The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants (K. Kubitzki, ed. in chief) VI: 167-275. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.

Perennial or annual herbs or rarely small subshrubs, with simple and/or branched hairs, often strongly aromatic
Leaves usually toothed, petiolate or rarely sessile
Inflorescence thyrsoid or racemoid
Flowers pedicellate, rarely sessile
Bracts present or absent
Bracteoles present or absent
Calyx actinomorphic to weakly 2-lipped, 5-lobed, lobes equal or unequal (3/2), often spinose, tube with throat often barbate
Corolla strongly 2-lipped, 4-lobed (1/3), posterior lip long, hooded or sometimes almost flat, externally pubescent, anterior lip with median lobe usually much larger than lateral lobes, corolla-tube annulate or rarely exannulate
Stamens not exserted from corolla, thecae ± distinct, usually divaricate, rarely subparallel to parallel
Stigma-lobes subequal or slightly unequal
Nutlets obovoid to oblong, rarely flattened trigonous, rounded or sometimes winged at apex.
2n =10, 16, 18, 24, 30, 32, 34, 48, 64, 66, 68, 80, 102.  About 300 species A cladistic analysis by Lindquist and Albert (2002) suggests that Betonica and other Stachys may have different origins.
Various habitats
Cosmopolitan, except for Australia (introduced to New Zealand, Middle Atlantic Ocean, Southwestern and North-Central Pacific. Doubtfully present in Indo-China


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. Stachys, Y.B. Harvey. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Perennial scandent or erect herbs, seldom aromatic, with an indumentum of simple, biramous, dendroid or stellate hairs
Stems quadrangular or roundedquadrangular, sometimes armed with prickles
Leaves opposite, distichous or decussate, petiolate or sessile
Inflorescences lax, with verticils variously 2–12(–16)flowered; bracts similar to cauline leaves, but smaller; bracteoles linear or subulate
Calyx regularly 5-toothed, campanulate to funnel-shaped, 10-veined, not or enlarging only slightly in fruit
Corolla white, pink, purplish or blue, 2-lipped; tube straight with annulus at midpoint; posterior lip flattened or slightly hooded; anterior lip with two small rounded lateral lobes and a large median lobe
Stamens held under posterior lip adnating to just above mid-point of the tube; filaments sometimes pubescent; anthers 2-thecous, divaricate
Disk equally 4-lobed
Ovary deeply 4-lobed; style gynobasic, bifid, branches equal
Nutlets ovoid, minutely tuberculate and rounded at apex, with a small basal scar.


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Herbs or shrubs with branched hairs (in Somali species)
Inflorescences thyrse-like, lax or dense; bracts large and leaf-like; cymes 1–10-flowered; bracteoles present (in Somali species)
Calyx 5-lobed, with 5–10 ± distinct ribs; lobes subequal or 3 upper slightly different from the 2 lower
Corolla 2-lipped; upper lip straight, slightly hooded, entire or emarginate, hairy but not bearded along the margin; lower lip 3-lobed with the midlobe larger, deflexed, markedly longer than the upper lip (in African species)
Stamens directed to the upper lip of the corolla
Style-branches equally long
Nutlets rounded at apex, glabrous.
Cosmopolitan genus of about 370 species.


Several species are widely cultivated as ornamentals.  Stachys affinis Bunge is cultivated for its edible, subterranean tubers

Doubtfully present in:


Native to:

Afghanistan, Alabama, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Algeria, Altay, Amur, Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Burundi, Buryatiya, California, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Central European Rus, Chile Central, Chile North, Chile South, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Corse, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, District of Columbia, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Florida, France, Free State, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Gulf of Guinea Is., Honduras, Hungary, Illinois, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Japan, Jawa, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuril Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Lebanon-Syria, Lesotho, Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Madeira, Magadan, Maine, Malawi, Manchuria, Manitoba, Massachusetts, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northwest European R, Northwest Territorie, Norway, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Qinghai, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Rwanda, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saskatchewan, Saudi Arabia, Sicilia, Sinai, Somalia, South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Utah, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vermont, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Yukon, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Arizona, Ascension, Bermuda, Easter Is., Galápagos, Hawaii, Juan Fernández Is., Leeward Is., Mali, Maryland, Mississippi, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Newfoundland, Norfolk Is., Nova Scotia, Puerto Rico, St.Helena, Tasmania, Tristan da Cunha, Windward Is.

Stachys L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Ash [1024], Ethiopia 35506.000
Sebsebe, D. [2312], Ethiopia 54597.000
Balansa, B. [2927], Vietnam K000853945
Balansa, B. [2928], Vietnam K000853946
Smiles, H.H. [s.n.], Thailand K000853944

First published in Sp. Pl.: 580 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Krestovskaya, T. (2011). The critical review of species of the genus Stachys L. section Eriostemum Hoffmanns. et Link (Labiatae) Novosti Sistematiki Vysshikh Rastenii 42: 198-221.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • —F.T.A. 5: 465.

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, (2000) Author: by O. Ryding [updated by M. Thulin 2008]
  • Sebsebe Demissew in Kew Bull. 48: 327–341 (1993).

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 7: 223 (2004)
  • K.B. 51: 433–454 (1996)
  • K.B. 48: 327–341 (1993)
  • Norw. Journ. Bot. 18: 121–137 (1971)
  • N.B.G.B. 8: 625–646 (1923)
  • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 253 (1754)
  • Sp. Pl. 580 (1753)

Lamiaceae Key Genus Fact Sheets

  • Harley RM, Atkins S, Budantsev AL, Cantino PD, Conn BJ, Grayer R, Harley MM, de Kok RPJ, Krestovskaja T, Morales R, Paton AJ, Ryding O, and Upson T. 2004. Labiatae, in The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants (K. Kubitzki, ed. in chief) VI: 167-275. Sp
  • Bhattacharjee, Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 38: 65-96 (1980).
  • Menitskia (Krestovsk.) Krestovsk., Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 91: 1893 (2006).
  • Stachyus St.-Lag., Ann. Soc. Bot. Lyon 7: 109 (1880).
  • Aspasia E.Mey. ex Pfeiff., Nomencl. Bot. 1: 295 (1873).
  • Ortostachys Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon, n.s., 17: 136 (1869).
  • Trixella Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon, n.s., 17: 135 (1869).
  • Olisia Spach, Hist. Nat. Vég. 9: 166 (1840).
  • Eriostemum Steud., Nomencl. Bot., ed. 2, 1: 588 (1840).
  • Eriostomum Hoffmanns. & Link, Fl. Portug. 1: 105 (1809).
  • Tetrahitum Hoffmanns. & Link, Fl. Portug. 1: 103 (1809).
  • Galeopsis Moench, Methodus: 397 (1794), nom. illeg.
  • Bonamya Neck., Elem. Bot. 1: 316 (1790), opus utique oppr.
  • Trixago Haller, Hist. Stirp. Helv. 1: 101 (1768).
  • Zietenia Gled., Syst. Pl. Stamin. Situ: 185 (1764).
  • Tetrahit Gérard (1761).
  • Galeopsis Hill, Brit. Herb.: 359 (1756), nom. illeg.
  • Betonica L., Sp. Pl.: 573 (1753).
  • Stachys L., Sp. Pl. 2: 580 (1753)
  • Lamiostachys Krestovsk., Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 91: 1258 (2006).

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

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.

Lamiaceae Key Genus Fact Sheets
Nina Davies, Gemma Bramley and Don Kirkup, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew