L'Hér., Stirp. Novae 4:84, tt. 41, 42 (1788).
Derivation: Greek plektron, a cock's spur; anthos, a flower; alluding to the basal spur of the corolla in some species.
Synonymy: Not Applicable
Common name: Plectranthus.
Perennial shrubs with quadrangular branches becoming tough and slightly woody towards the base, with simple hairs, gland-tipped hairs and sometimes with larger subsessile glands; leaves petiolate, opposite, crenate to lobed.
Inflorescence a thyrse usually on a distinct peduncle, with sessile cymose part-inflorescences each usually with a few pedicellate flowers, with elongated internodes between flowering nodes, with bracts scale-like; sepals more or less equally connate, zygomorphic, with single hairs and subsessile glands on the outside; corolla 2-lipped, with a posterior lip short and broad, with the anterior lip oblong-elliptic; with 2 short lateral lobes and a 2-lobed central one; stamens 4 fertile, inserted in the throat of the corolla tube; anthers with 2 cells fertile, not diverging, more or less enclosed in the anterior lip; ovary deeply 4-lobed, with each locule with 1 basal ovule, with a gynobasic style and a terminal 2-fid stigma.
Fruit usually with 4 mericarps each about orbicular in surface view, centripetally compressed and without keels, with the attachment scar short and narrow, basal.
About 250 species from Africa through southern Asia to Japan, through Malesia and the Pacific to Australia. Blake (1971) Contr. QM Herb. 9:1-120 recognised 17 species in Australia.
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