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Pakistan | Family List | Labiatae

59. Ocimum L., Sp. Pl. 597. 1753. L., Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 256. 1754; Benth. in DC., Prodr. 12: 31. 1848; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4: 607.1885; Briquet in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 1, 4, 3A: 369. 1897; Mukerjee in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 14, 1: 17. 1940; Bolkova in Komarov, Fl. URSS 21: 641. 1954; Wealth of India, Raw Materials 17: 79. 1966; Keng in van Steenis, Fl. Males. 8, 3: 376. 1978; Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 150: 575. 1982.

I.C. Hedge

Annual or perennial shrubby herbs, strongly and pleasantly aromatic. Stems much branched, with eglandular spreading or retrorse simple hairs. Leaves not divided, shortly petiolate, densely gland-dotted on both surfaces, ovate or ovate-oblong, subentire or crenulate. Inflorescence of terminal and lateral elongated or condensed racemes; verticillasters 6-10-flowered. Bracts clearly different from leaves, small, deciduous. Pedicels terete or flattened, spreading or adpressed to inflorescence/infructescence axis and apically recurved. Calyx ovoid-campanulate, somewhat enlarged and deflexed or not in fruit, 10-nerved, bilabiate; uppermost lobe much broader than others, decurrent on tube; lateral teeth 2, ovate; lower teeth 2, narrow lanceolate-acuminate, upwardly curved in fruit; tube glabrous within or densely villous. Corolla bilabiate; upper lip subequally 4-lobed; lower lip entire, flat, spreading. Stamens 4, exserted, didynamous; thecae unilocular, glabrous. Style bifid. Nutlets finely rugulose, oblong-ellipsoid; apically rounded, glabrous, mucilaginous on wetting.

A mainly tropical genus; some species are commonly grown for their aromatic fragrance, or as culinary or medicinal herbs. Specific limits in many species are far from clear. Only 1 of our species seems to be native, O. americanum.

1 Calyx tube glabrous within; pedicels spreading in fruit, terete or more or lessso   3 Ocimum tenuiflorum
+ Calyx tube bearded within; pedicels adpressed to axis in fruit and apically reflexed, flattened   (2)
2 (1) Corolla 7-9 mm, white to violet; fruiting calyx 5-7.5 mm long   2 Ocimum basilicum
+ Corolla c. 5 mm long, white; fruiting calyx 4-5.5 mm long   1 Ocimum americanum

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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