Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Plectranthus unguentarius
Codd, Lamiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Perennial erect robust semi-succulent suffretex 1-1.5 m tall; stems woody at the base, obscurely 4-angled, sparingly branched, densely cano-tomentose and with minute gland-dots.  Leaves semi-fleshy, slightly aromatic, drying fairly thick-textured; petiole 1-1.5 cm long, pubescence as for the stems; blade broadly obovate to subrotund, 4-6 cm long and equally broad, densely appressed pubescent and veins indistinct above, woolly-tomentose and distinctly reticulate veined below, freely dotted with minute reddish-brown gland-dots; apex rounded; base cuneate to abruptly attenuate on to the petiole; margin coarsely crenate expect in the lower third with 8-12 pairs of rounded teeth.  Inflorescence a terminal spike-like raceme of interrupted densely glomerate verticillasters, verticillasters 1-3 cm apart, simple or with a pair of branches near the base up to 35 cm long; rhachis densely woolly-tomentose; bracts broadly ovate, 3 mm long, 2.5 mm broad, acute, densely tomentose, persisting to early flowering stage.  Flowers in very dense ± 210-flowered sessile cymes, densely tomentose, producing ± 40-flowered verticillasters; pedicels erect to ascending 4-5 mm long, densely tomentose.  Calyx 2.5-3 mm long at flowering, enlarging to 5-6 mm in fruit, glandular-tomentose; tube short, campanulate; uppermost tooth by far the largest, horizontal, broadly ovate, 2.5 mm long and 2 mm broad, abruptly acute at the apex, the lower 4 teeth short, subulate.  Corolla white, 1-1.2 cm long, glandular-pubescent; tube slightly bent about the middle, 1 mm deep at the base, expanding to 2 mm at the throat; upper lip short, erect, 1.5-2 mm long and equally broad and somewhat hooded, emarginate and with 2 obscure lateral lobes; lower lip boat-shaped, 5-7 mm long, horizontal.  Stamens united at the base for 1-2 mm, curved upwards in the lower lip, 5-7 mm long, enclosed or slightly exserted.  Style exserted by about 1 mm"  (Codd, 1975; p. 388).

Habitat/ecology:  "Recorded from the Kaokoveld, northern South West Africa, in dry Mopane woodland, on high rocky situations up to 2,300 m altitude, with broken fragments of limestone and weathered dolomite"  (Codd, 1975; p. 388).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Namibia (GRIN).


Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)

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This page was created on 30 JUN 2009 and was last updated on 11 JUL 2010.