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This species is accepted, and its native range is Eritrea to 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

Types: Tanzania, Pangani, Volkens 484 (B†, syn. G!, isosyn.) & North Mara District: Ukira, Fischer 497 (B†, syn.)
Morphology General Habit
Mat-forming perennial succulent aromatic herb to 20 cm tall, with stems arising from a small fibrous root system
Morphology Stem
Stems procumbent, quadrangular, rooting at nodes, much branched or not, pubescent with mostly retrorse, rarely patent eglandular hairs, red sessile glands and scattered colourless glands, sometimes with patent glandular hairs on the inflorescence axis
Morphology Leaves
Leaves ascending, succulent, petiolate, sometimes with clusters of younger leaves in axils; blades ovate to broadly elliptic, 7–14 × 3.5–10(–15) mm, sinuate to weakly dentate, apex obtuse, base cuneate, pubescent, with red sessile glands; petiole 1.5–3 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence terminal, lax with 8–20-flowered verticils 5–10 mm apart, with bracts subtending 4–10-flowered sessile or shortly cincinnate cymes; bracts leaf-like but smaller; pedicels 4–7 mm, terete with glandular hairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 1–2 mm long, pubescent, with red and scattered colourless sessile glands; fruiting calyx 3–4 mm long, shortly tubular, curved slightly upwards with pedicel attached excentrically behind the posterior lip; throat truncate; posterior lip elliptic, curving upwards, shortly decurrent; anterior lip with lobes lanceolate, median narrower and exceeding lateral; sinus between anterior lobes slightly deeper than that between the lateral lobes and anterior lobes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla pale mauve, with red sessile glands on lobes, 2–3 mm long, soon deciduous; tube 1–1.5 mm long, shallowly sigmoid; posterior lip shorter than anterior; anterior lip 1–1.5 mm long, horizontal, weakly cucullate, enclosing stamens
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Staminal filaments free
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets brown shiny with reddish gland dots, broadly obovoid, flattened, 1 mm long, producing mucilage speckled on outer surface.
Acacia scrub, often on rocks or sand, rarely reported from black cotton soil; 60–1800 m
Least concern; widely distributed
Range: Ethiopia and Eritrea Flora districts: U3 U4 K1 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7T1 T2 T3 T6

Native to:

Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

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

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jun 1, 2013 Robertson [7492], Kenya Plectranthus prostratus K000938035
Wood, G.H.S. [518], Uganda Plectranthus prostratus 2774.000
Archbold, M.E. [510], Tanzania Plectranthus prostratus 31685.000
Schweinfurth, G. [2086], Ethiopia Plectranthus prostratus K000431926 Unknown type material
Lye, K. [3471], Uganda Plectranthus prostratus K000431973 isotype

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 86 (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

  • Paton, A.J., Bramley, G., Ryding, O., Polhill, R., Harvey, Y., Iwarsson, M., Willis, F., Phillipson, P., Balkwill, K., Lukhoba, C., Otiend, D & Harley (2009). Lamiaceae (Labiatae) Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-430.

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.