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This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Ethiopia to N. Kenya.
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

Type: Ethiopia, Mega, Gillett 14206 (K!, holo., FT, iso.)
Morphology General Habit
Aromatic soft-wooded shrub or subshrub 0.8–1 m tall
Morphology Stem
Stems roundedquadrangular or terete, erect, purplish or brown, branching, succulent, with conspicuous leaf scars on the old wood, puberulent to pubescent with short eglandular hairs and reddish and pale sessile glands, becoming very glandular with short glandular hairs on the inflorescence axis
Morphology Leaves
Leaves spreading, succulent, petiolate; blades ovate to rounded, 2–5 × 2–5 cm, deeply crenate or dentate, weakly revolute, apex rounded, base cuneate or broadly so, densely pubescent or tomentose, with red and some pale sessile glands beneath; petiole 5–10 mm long.Inflorescence simple or branched from base, lax with 10–18-flowered verticils 5–30 mm apart, with bracts subtending opposite, 5–9-flowered sessile or short, branched circinnate cymes; bracts ovate, 2–5 mm long, erect above forming an inconspicuous terminal coma, soon deciduous; pedicels 5–8 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 3 mm long, densely pubescent, with red sessile glands; fruiting calyx 5–6 mm long, tubular, curving upwards and with pedicel attached excentrically behind posterior lip; throat truncate; posterior lip narrowly elliptic or lanceolate, straight or slightly curving upwards, shortly decurrent; anterior lobes lanceolate with median lobes slightly longer and narrower than lateral
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla blue, (7–)10–14 mm long, pubescent with hairs and red sessile glands on lobes; tube (4–)5–8 mm long, sigmoid or shallowly so; posterior lip shorter than anterior; anterior lip (3–)5–6 mm long, horizontal, concave, enclosing stamens or stamens just exserted
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Staminal filaments free
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets brown shiny with reddish dots, broadly elliptic in outline, flattened, 1 mm long, producing lots of mucilage speckled on outer surface
Fig 39: 2, p 238 & 52: 1, p 305
Rocks, open Juniperus scrub; 1750–1800 m
Least concern; (within Kenya there are 3 collections from 2 localities; AOO in Kenya = 535.04 km 2 with cell width 16.36 km, number of cells 2, 2 subpopulations based on adjacent cells; 2 subpopulations based on Rapoport distance; Although AOO suggests vulnerable status in Kenya, it is also known from several collections in Gamu Gofa and Sidamo Provinces of Ethiopia)
Differing from P. tetradenifolius by longer pedicels and calyx, often larger corolla and a less densely branched inflorescence.
Range: Ethiopia Flora districts: K1

Native to:

Ethiopia, Kenya

Coleus marrubatus (J.K.Morton) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1997 Gillett, J.B. [14206], Ethiopia Plectranthus marrubatus K000431922 Unknown type material
Tweedie [2665], Uganda Plectranthus marrubatus K000430736 Unknown type material

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 72 (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.