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This species is accepted, and its native range is NE. Tropical Africa to N. Tanzania.
Plectranthus otostegioides


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

Types: Eritrea, upper Lebka valley, Heuglin s.n. (B†, syn) & Müller-Prosko-Capitany s.n. (B†, syn.) & Tanzania, Kilimanjaro, Volkens 492 (B†, syn.) neotype, chosen by Ryding, loc. cit. (1999): Tanzania, Arusha District: Ngaserai Plain, Richards & Arasululu 26472 (K!, neo.)
Morphology General Habit
Aromatic perennial semisucculent or succulent herb or subshrub, 0.3–0.5 m tall, but scrambling up to 1.5 m if supported by other vegetation, with several stems spreading from a rootstock, sometimes forming clumps
Morphology Stem
Stems soft-wooded or succulent, procumbent, ascending or scandent, leafless below, but often with short leafy side shoots, softly pubescent with short retrorse hairs and red sessile glands, and often with hairs becoming patent and sometimes glandular with red and pale sessile glands in the inflorescence axis
Morphology Leaves
Leaves succulent, often becoming yellowgreen, petiolate or indistinctly so; blades ovate, elliptic or obovate, 1–3 × 0.5–1.2(–2) cm, crenate, weakly revolute, apex obtuse to rounded, base attenuate, softly pubescent to densely pubescent, with red sessile glands; petiole to 3 mm long, sometimes indistinct and merging into attenuate leaf base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence condensed to fairly lax with 6-flowered verticils up to 10 mm apart in fruit and with bracts subtending sessile, 3-flowered cymes; bracts often yellow-green or cream with red glands, persistent, obovate to elliptic, entire or crenate, erect above, soon spreading and deflexed; pedicels 6–7 mm long, flattened, winged at base, adpressed to stem
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 5 mm long, pubescent, with red sessile glands; fruiting calyx yellow-green, becoming membranous, funnel-shaped with large lobes, 10–13 mm long, and with pedicel attached excentrically behind posterior lip; throat truncate, densely villose; posterior lip rounded, curving upwards, shortly decurrent; anterior lip with lateral lobes similar in size to posterior lip; median lobes smaller than others, rounded or deltoid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla mauve or white with blue markings, 11–15 mm long, distally pubescent, with red sessile glands on lobes; tube 4–7 mm long, sigmoid, posterior lip vertical, much shorter than anterior lip; anterior lip 6–9 mm long, horizontal enclosing stamens
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Staminal filaments fused
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets pale brown, smooth, with red gland dots, broadly ovate in outline, flattened, 1.5 mm long, producing dotted mucilage when wet.
Dry Acacia-Commiphora bushland, often in rocky areas, 100–1200 m
Least concern; widely distributed
Range: Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia Flora districts: K1 K2 K4 K6 K7 T2 T3

Native to:

Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania

Coleus otostegioides (Schweinf. ex Gürke) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Sep 11, 2007 Mwachala [212], Kenya Plectranthus otostegioides K000479421
Richards, H.M. [26472], Tanzania Plectranthus otostegioides K000431986 neotype
Drummond, R.B. [3074], Tanzania Capitanya otostegioides 2734.000
Ash [1224], Ethiopia Capitanya otostegioides 35789.000
Mathew, B. [6488], Kenya Capitanya otostegioides 6049.228

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 81 (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.


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Audru, J., Cesar, J. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1994). Les Plantes Vasculaires de la République de Djibouti. Flore Illustrée 1: 1-336. CIRAD, Départerment d'Elevage et de Médecine vétérinaire, Djibouti.

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.

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew