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This species is accepted, and its native range is DR Congo to Uganda (Ruwenzori Mountains).
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. Pycnostachys, G Bramleyshaped. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Type: Uganda, Ruwenzori E, 2750 m, 10 Feb. 1906, Wollaston s.n. (BM!, holo.)
Morphology General Habit
Shrub 0.5–4.5 m tall
Morphology Stem
Stems erect, branching, quadrangular, or roundedquadrangular where woodier, pubescent with short downward-pointing eglandular hairs and occasional branched hairs on younger growth, becoming subglabrous, alsowith red sessile glands
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite, petiolate; blades ovate to narrowly ovate, 10–20 × 4–9.5 cm, serrate or crenate-serrate, apex acuminate, base shortly attenuate, with yellow and red sessile glands, upper surface pubescent with short adpressed eglandular hairs, lower surface with short eglandular hairs and branched hairs, the hairs more plentiful on venation; petiole 10–70 mm long, pubescent with short eglandular hairs and with red sessile glands
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence dense, when in flower forming a narrow conical shape, in fruit 60–90 × 30–35 mm; bracts subtending entire inflorescence narrowly ovate, 20–30 mm long, acute, deflexed in flower, indumentum as leaves, persistent through flowering stage; bracts subtending single flowers oblanceolate, 5–9 mm long, ciliate with hairs shorter than the width of the bract
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx with eglandular hairs and red sessile glands, tube ± 1 mm long at anthesis, with 0.5 mm long triangular scales present on the inner surface of the tube between calyx lobes; lobes 5, subulate, ± equal, 4–5 mm long, with patent eglandular hairs; fruiting calyx with tube 5–7 mm long, ventrally gibbous, lobes ± erect, sometimes with a slight curve, 8–13 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla white, yellow, pink or mauve, 15–17 mm long, with scattered eglandular hairs and red sessile glands; tube very narrow and parallel-sided for 4 mm, then curving sharply downwards and broadening for 5–6 mm before opening out into two lips; posterior lip much shorter than anterior, ± 2 mm long; anterior lip 6–7 mm long, 3–3.5 mm deep, when corolla mature hanging down almost vertically
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens connate for ± 2 mm, exserted for 3–5 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets ± 1.5 mm long.
Moist valley slope or bamboo zone; undershrub in Podocarpus forest; 2000–2750 m
Only known from the Ruwenzori Mts, and possibly threatened as it apparently does not extend to very high altitudes (though recorded higher on the Congo side).
Pycnostachys elliotii is distinctive due to the branched hairs found on the lower leaf surfaces and young growth, and additionally because of its corolla, since when mature, the anterior lip hangs down almost vertically, causing the stamens to be conspicuously exserted. It forms part of a group of shrubby Pycnostachys species that is centred on the Ruwenzori/Virunga mountain chain, running along the borders of Uganda and CongoKinshasa, and the Congo and Rwanda and Burundi. The other species in the group are P. erici-rosenii, P. goetzenii, which are apparently endemic to this area, and also P. meyeri that continues further south into Tanzania.
Range: Congo-Kinshasa (Ruwenzori) Flora districts: U 2 (Ruwenzori);

Native to:

Uganda, Zaïre

Coleus elliotii (S.Moore) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Dec 1, 1993 Magogo, F.C. [23], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467402
Dec 1, 1993 Purseglove, J.W. [322], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467401
Apr 1, 1949 Osmaston, H.A. [3977], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467407
Jun 1, 1948 Purseglove, J.W. [2702], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467410
Mar 1, 1939 Kassner, T. [3085], Congo, DRC Pycnostachys elliotii K000467413
Feb 1, 1939 V.E.H. [H1], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467409
Jan 1, 1939 Hazel, C. [164], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467403
Jan 1, 1939 Fyfee, R. [15], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467404
Jan 1, 1939 Fishlock [26], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467406
Jan 1, 1939 Kassner, J. [3115], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467412
Jan 1, 1939 Eggeling, W.J. [1356], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467405
Scott Elliot, G.F. [7719], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467408
Loveridge, M. V. [383], Uganda Pycnostachys elliotii K000467411
Bequaert [3715], Congo, DRC Pycnostachys elliotii K000405949 Unknown type material
Bequaert [4287], Congo, DRC Pycnostachys elliotii K000405950 Unknown type material

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 43 (2019)

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.

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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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.