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This species is accepted, and its native range is SW. Tanzania.
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. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Typus: Tanzania, Ufipa District: Mbisi [Mbizi] Mts, Bidgood, Mbago & Vollesen 2544 (K!, holo. C, DSM, NHT, iso.)
Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb 0.3–0.7 m tall, with annual stems arising from a cluster of slender 20 × 4 mm vertical tubers (seldom collected), not reported to be aromatic
Morphology Stem
Stems erect, quadrangular, branching, pubescent with short patent to antrorse glandular and eglandular hairs, becoming hispid, bluish and more glandular on the inflorescence axis and with yellowish sessile glands
Morphology Leaves
Leaves usually deflexed, sometimes spreading, ± sessile; blades often conduplicate, ovate, 1–5 × 0.8–2 cm, crenate to serrate, apex obtuse to acute, base rounded to cuneate, pubescent and with red gland dots
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence lax with 8–16-flowered verticils 7–10 mm apart; cymes 4–8-flowered, sessile; bracts lanceolate to ovate and cuspidate, 1–2 mm long, persistent; pedicels 3.5–6 mm long in fruit
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 2–3 mm long, bluish, sparsely hispid, with yellow sessile glands; fruiting calyx 4 mm long, shortly funnel-shaped with pedicel attached to calyx base asymmetrically, behind posterior lip; throat truncate; posterior lip triangular, shortly decurrent, slightly curving upwards; lateral lobes lanceolate, nearer posterior lip than to the median lobe of the anterior lip, giving the calyx a 3/2 lobe arrangement, rather than 1/4, median lobes lanceolate, longer than lateral lobes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla blue or white marked pink, 5–6 mm long, pubescent with yellow sessile glands; tube 3 mm long, straight to shallowly sigmoid, and with a diffuse annulus of hairs at base within; posterior lip indistinctly lobed, frilled at margin, pointing forward, ± equal to anterior lip; anterior lip cucullate, deflexed, frilled at apex
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens scarcely protruding from throat, free, attached just below throat
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets brown with reddish speckles, broadly ovoid, 1 mm long, slightly roughened, not producing mucilage when wet but sometimes does if scratched
Fig 39: 8, p 238 & 49: 1–4, p 281
Among rocks, disturbed ground, wet grassland, a pioneer of bare acid soils or occasionally on forest stream banks; 1700–1850 m
Least concern; often found on disturbed ground so habitat probably not in decline; (EOO 44021 km2, 8 collections from 8 localities; AOO 14801 km2 with cell width 43.01 km, number of cells 8, 5 subpopulations based on adjacent cells; 2 subpopulations based on Rapoport distance)
Relationships are unclear. The calyx morphology, with a sinus between the median and lateral lobes of the anterior lip, is rare. The shape of the posterior calyx lip and equal corolla lobes may relate this species to P. zombensis and allies .
Range: Not known elsewhere Flora districts: T4 T7

Native to:


Coleus ignotus (A.J.Paton) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Bidgood, S. [2544], Tanzania Plectranthus ignotus K000431955 Unknown type material

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 59 (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
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

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.