Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Old World.

[FWTA]

Labiatae, J. K. Morton. Flora of West Tropical Africa 2. 1963

Diagnostic
Similar to O. suave but subglabrous
Ecology
Usually occurring around villages.
Vernacular
The Tea Bush.

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb with a woody base, 0.4–2.5 m tall, with simple or rarely also some branched hairs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate; blade elliptic or ovate to broadly ovate, up to 30–150 × 20–85 mm, apex acute, acuminate or obtuse, base cuneate or attenuate, margin serrate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence lax or dense; bracts becoming downwards-pointing, deciduous after anthesis
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits Fruiting calyx
Fruiting calyx mostly ± downwards-pointing, 5–6 mm long, closed by the lower lobes being pressed against the upper lobe; upper lobe widest near the apex, 3–4 mm broad, narrowly cuneate at the base; lateral lobes subulate at apex; lower lobes connate to an emarginate lip
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 3–5 mm long, greenish, dull white or pale yellowish
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Anterior stamens c. 1 mm longer than the lower lip of the corolla
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets c. 1.5 × 1.5 mm, glabrous, minutely tuberculate, hardly producing mucilage when wet.
Note
Paton (1992) divided O. gratissimum into two subspecies. The description above refers to subsp. gratissimum, the only subspecies known from Somalia.

[FTEA]

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
Neotype, chosen by Paton, loc. cit. (1992) – specimen probably a later addition to Linnean Herbarium: cultivated in Uppsala, originally from India, Linnean Herbarium 749.2 (LINN!, neo.)
Morphology General Habit
Aromatic perennial herb 0.6–2.5 m tall
Morphology Stem
Stems erect, rounded-quadrangular, much branched, often striate, woody at base with epidermis often peeling in strips; glabrous or with scattered patent hairs below, becoming pubescent at nodes and on the inflorescence-axis, or pubescent with ± retrorse and patent hairs becoming hoary or tomentose on the inflorescence axis
Morphology Leaves
Leaf blades often darker above, elliptic or ovate to broadly ovate, 1.5–15 × 1–8.5 cm, serrate, apex obtuse, acute or acuminate, base cuneate or attenuate, indumentum of scattered short hairs mostly confined to veins beneath, or lower surface pubescent with upper glabrous or pubescent overall, sometimes tomentose beneath; petiole 5–30 mm long, glandular-punctate or not
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence lax or dense (calyces of adjacent verticils touching or verticils ± 1 cm apart); bracts erect above forming a small green terminal coma, becoming downward-pointing and deciduous towards base, ovate or narrowly ovate, 3–12 × 1–7 mm, acuminate, sometimes cucullate; pedicels 3–4 mm long, spreading or ascending, slightly curved, ± flattened
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx horizontal, ± downward-pointing or strongly reflexed against the inflorescence axis, 2–3 mm long at anthesis, pubescent, hoary or tomentose, with sessile glands or not; posterior lip large, rounded at tip, decurrent, teeth of anterior lip lanceolate, acuminate, teeth of lateral lobes bristle-pointed; fruiting calyx 6–8 mm long, tube closed, posterior lip accrescent, rounded or obtuse and wider at tip, decurrent, median lobes of anterior lip pressed against the posterior lip, teeth of the lateral lobes level with, or lower than, the underside of the anterior lip, sometimes spreading; indumentum pubescent, hoary or tomentose with sessile glands or not
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla greeny or dull white or pale yellow, 3–4 mm long; tube straight, funnel-shaped, scarcely exceeding the calyx tube
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens exserted 1 mm from corolla, posterior with a flattened, hairy or subglabrous appendage near base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets brown, ± spherical, 1.5 mm in diameter, minutely tuberculate, producing a small amount of mucilage when wet
Figures
Fig 22: 7, 8, p 139
Note
(on the species as a whole). O. gratissimum forms a polymorphic complex in Africa. Subsp. iringense is easily recognised by its strongly reflexed fruiting calyces. Within subsp. gratissimum, var. macrophyllum is delimited from var. gratissimum by the combination of a lax inflorescence and sparse indumentum. This delimitation is supported by reference to Indian material where the discontinuity between the two varieties of subsp. gratissimum is upheld and the fact that var. macrophyllum has a limited geographical distribution in East Africa. Var. macrophyllum may have been introduced either from or to India and spread throughout Africa by cultivation. Cultivated Labiatae often tend to be glabrous as a result of selection by man. However, it is also possible that it may have arisen from var. gratissimum several times in response to environmental factors. Thus varietal rank is preferred to subspecific. See also Vieira, R., Grayer, R.J., Paton, A., and Simon, J.E. (2001) – Genetic diversity of Ocimum gratissimum L. based on volatile oil contents, flavonoids and RAPD markers. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 29: 287–304. Forms exist in Uganda and Tanzania that correspond to var. macrophyllum in leaf and calyx indumentum and in having a lax inflorescence, but with a stem indumentum similar to var. gratissimum. These forms are similar to the type of O. gratissimum. There is no discontinuity that can separate these forms from the more densely hairy to tomentose forms previously referred to as O. urticifolium. Nor is there any morphological or ecological discontinuity separating forms with dense, wide, robust inflorescences (previously referred to as O. trichodon) from specimens with narrower inflorescences ( O. urticifolium). Thus within var. gratissimum inflorescence structure and stem, leaf and calyx indumentum form a continuum of variation. Two varieties based on the types of O. gratissimum and either O. urticifolium or O. trichodon could be recognised as there are large morphological differences between the extremes of this continuum. There are also supporting differences in leaf epidermis structure (Olowokudejo & Pereira-Shateolu in Phytomorphology 38: 147 (1988)) and chromosome number (Morton in J.L.S. 58: 231 (1962)). However, the practical difficulties of dividing and recognising the divisions of this continuum and the interbreeding between members of this complex reported by Khosta in J. Pl. Anat. Morphol. 3: 157 (1986) make this undesirable.

[CPLC]

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 300 - 1600 m.; Amazonia, Andes, Pacífico, Valle del Cauca.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba, subarbusto

Native to:

Aldabra, Andaman Is., Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, China Southeast, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., India, Ivory Coast, Jawa, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laccadive Is., Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sumatera, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Aruba, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Burkina, Cape Verde, Chad, Cook Is., Cuba, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Leeward Is., Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southwest, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Niger, Panamá, Queensland, Society Is., Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, Windward Is.

Ocimum gratissimum L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2010 Betz, W. [31], Papua New Guinea K000897217
Nov 29, 1999 Takeuchi, W. [13813], Papua New Guinea K000897348
Nov 29, 1999 Takeuchi, W. [13813], Papua New Guinea K000897347
Dec 1, 1997 Etuge, M. [3702], Cameroon K000339266
Apr 1, 1964 Haniff, M. [SFN6923], Malaysia K000897352
Waterhouse, J.H.L. [916], Papua New Guinea K000897344
Coode, M. [NGF29791], Papua New Guinea K000897345
Streimann, H. [NGF27573], Papua New Guinea K000897343
Stevens, P.F. [LAE50142], Papua New Guinea K000897350
Wiakabu, J. [LAE73476], Papua New Guinea K000897349
Kerenga, K. [LAE77444], Papua New Guinea K000897346
Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 2720], Malaysia K001116930
Peekel, G. [12], Papua New Guinea K000897342
s.coll. [Cat. no. 2720] K001116931
s.coll. [Cat. no. 2720] K001116932
s.coll. [Cat. no. 2720] K001116933
s.coll. [Cat. no. 2720] K001116934
s.coll. [Cat. no. 2720] K001116935
s.coll. [Cat. no. 2720] K001116936
s.coll. [Cat. no. 2720], India K001116937
s.coll. [Cat. no. 2720], India K001116938

First published in Sp. Pl.: 1197 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Balkrishna, A. (2018). Flora of Morni Hills (Research & Possibilities): 1-581. Divya Yoga Mandir Trust.
  • Velayos, M., Barberá, P., Cabezas, F.J., de la Estrella, M., Fero, M. & Aedo, C. (2014). Checklist of the vascular plants of Annobón (Equatorial Guinea) Phytotaxa 171: 1-78.
  • Paton, A.J., Bramley, G., Ryding, O., Polhill, R.M., Harvey, Y.B., Iwarsson, M., Otieno, D., Balkwill, K., Phillipson, P.B., Harley, R.M. & Willis, F. (2013). Flora Zambesiaca 8(8): 1-346. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Brundu, G. & Camarda, I. (2013). The Flora of Chad: a checklist and brief analysis PhytoKeys 23: 1-18.
  • Davidse, G. & al. (eds.) (2012). Flora Mesoamericana 4(2): 1-533. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.
  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
  • Garcia-Mendoza, A.J. & Meave, J.A. (eds.) (2012). Diversidad florística de Oaxaca: de musgos a angiospermas (colecciones y listas de especies), ed. 2: 1-351. Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
  • Morales, R. (2011). Les Labiadas (Lamiaceae) de Guinea Ecuatorial Anales del Jardin Botanico de Madrid 68: 199-223.
  • Fischer, E., Rembold, K., Althof, A. & Obholzer, J. (2010). Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Kakamega forest, Western province, Kenya Journal of East African Natural History 99: 129-226.
  • 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.
  • Khanam, M. & Hassan, M.A. (2008). Lamiaceae Flora of Bangladesh 58: 1-161. Bangladesh National Herbarium, Dhaka.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Catarino, L., Martins, E.S., Diniz, M.A. & Pinto-Basto, M.F. (2006). Check-list da flora vascular do parque natural das Lagos de Cufada (Guiné-Bissau) Garcia de Orta, Série de Botânica 17: 97-141.
  • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34: 1-199.
  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • Suddee, S., Paton, A.J. & Parnell, J.A.N. (2005). Taxonomic Revision of the tribe Ocimeae Dumort (Lamiaceae) in continental South East Asia III. Ociminae Kew Bulletin 60: 3-75.
  • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
  • Mabberley, D.J. & De Kok, R.P.J. (2004). Labiatae Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances 25: 20-141. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Harris, D.J. (2002). The vascular plants of the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve, Central African Republic: 1-274. National Botanic Garden (Belgium), Meise.
  • Welsh, S.L. (1998). Flora Societensis: 1-420. E.P.S. Inc. Utah.
  • Jones, M. (1991). A checklist of Gambian plants: 1-33. Michael Jones, The Gambia College.
  • Lebrun, J.P., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(1): 1-85. ORSTOM, Bangui.
  • Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
  • Berhaut, J. (1975). Flore illustrée du Sénégal 4: 1-625. Gouvernement du Sénégal, Ministère du développement rural direction des eaux et forêta, Dakar.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Morton in J. Linn. Soc. 58: 232 (1962).
  • Chev. Bot. 511 (as var. macrophyllum Briq.)
  • Sp. Pl. 2: 1197 (1753)

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • (2020). file:///C:/Users/rg02kg/Downloads/7790-19423-1-PB.pdf epublication.
  • Baksh-Comeau, Y., Maharaj, S.S., Adams, C.D., Harris, S.A., Filer, D.L. & Hawthorne, W.D. (2016). An annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Trinidad and Tobago with analysis of vegetation types and botanical 'hotspots' Phytotaxa 250: 1-431.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Paton, A.J., Bramley, G., Ryding, O., Polhill, R.M., Harvey, Y.B., Iwarsson, M., Otieno, D., Balkwill, K., Phillipson, P.B., Harley, R.M. & Willis, F. (2013). Flora Zambesiaca 8(8): 1-346. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Brundu, G. & Camarda, I. (2013). The Flora of Chad: a checklist and brief analysis PhytoKeys 23: 1-18.
  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
  • Morales, R. (2011). Les Labiadas (Lamiaceae) de Guinea Ecuatorial Anales del Jardin Botanico de Madrid 68: 199-223.
  • Pandey, R.P. & Dilwakar, P.G. (2008). An integrated check-list flora of Andaman and Nicobar islands, India Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 32: 403-500.
  • Catarino, L., Martins, E.S., Diniz, M.A. & Pinto-Basto, M.F. (2006). Check-list da flora vascular do parque natural das Lagos de Cufada (Guiné-Bissau) Garcia de Orta, Série de Botânica 17: 97-141.
  • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • Suddee, S., Paton, A.J. & Parnell, J.A.N. (2005). Taxonomic Revision of the tribe Ocimeae Dumort (Lamiaceae) in continental South East Asia III. Ociminae Kew Bulletin 60: 3-75.
  • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
  • Mabberley, D.J. & De Kok, R.P.J. (2004). Labiatae Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances 25: 20-141. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • Harris, D.J. (2002). The vascular plants of the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve, Central African Republic: 1-274. National Botanic Garden (Belgium), Meise.
  • Welsh, S.L. (1998). Flora Societensis: 1-420. E.P.S. Inc. Utah.
  • Jones, M. (1991). A checklist of Gambian plants: 1-33. Michael Jones, The Gambia College.
  • Lebrun, J.P., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
  • Fosberg, F.R. (1975). Vascular plants of Aitutaki Atoll Research Bulletin 190: 73-84.
  • Berhaut, J. (1975). Flore illustrée du Sénégal 4: 1-625. Gouvernement du Sénégal, Ministère du développement rural direction des eaux et forêta, Dakar.
  • Yuncker, T.G. (1959). Plants of Tonga Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin 220: 1-283.
  • Fosberg, F.R. (1957). The Maldive islands, Indian Ocean Atoll Research Bulletin 58: 1-37.

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, (2000) Author: by O. Ryding [updated by M. Thulin 2008]
  • Paton in Kew Bull. 47: 403–435 (1992)

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Holm & Hiltunen, Ocimum: 26 (1999).
  • U.K.W.F. ed. 2: 296, t. 132 (1994)
  • K.B. 47: 411, fig. 1G, H (1992)
  • Fl. Rwanda 3: 324 (1985)
  • F.W.T.A., ed. 2, 2: 452 (1963)
  • P.O.A. C: 350 (1895)
  • Sp. Pl.: 1197 (1753)

Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/