Leonotis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae.[2] One species, Leonotis nepetifolia, is native to tropical Africa and southern India. It is naturalized throughout most of the tropics. The other species are endemic to southern + eastern Africa.[1][3]

Leonotis (lion's-ear)
Leonotis leonurus.jpg
Leonotis nepetifolia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Lamioideae
Genus: Leonotis
(C.H. Persoon) R.Br.
Type species
Leonotis ocymifolia
  • Leonurus Mill. 1754 not L. 1753
  • Hemisodon Raf.

Leonotis was named by Robert Brown in 1810 in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen.[4] The name means "lion's ear".

The type for the genus is the specimen of Leonotis ocymifolia that was originally described as Leonotis leonitis.[5] It is a specimen of Leonotis ocymifolia var. ocymifolia.[3]


  1. Leonotis decadonta Gürke - southeast Africa from Burundi + Tanzania south to Mozambique
  2. Leonotis goetzei Gürke - Tanzania
  3. Leonotis grandis Iwarsson & Y.B. Harvey      - Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia
  4. Leonotis leonurus (L.) Robert Brown - South Africa, Angola; naturalized in Burundi, Java, St. Helena
  5. Leonotis myricifolia Iwarsson & Y.B. Harvey - Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia
  6. Leonotis myrothamnifolia Iwarsson & Y.B. Harvey - Malawi, Zambia
  7. Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) Robert Brown - sub-Saharan Africa from Ethiopia west to Senegal and south to Transvaal, also Indian subcontinent; naturalized in Morocco, Canary Islands, Southeast Asia, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, much of Latin America; West Indies
  8. Leonotis ocymifolia (Burman f.) Iwarsson - eastern Africa from Sudan + Eritrea south to Transvaal
  9. Leonotis pole-evansii Hutch. - Zambia


Leonotis is a member of the subfamily Lamioideae.[2] Leonotis might be paraphyletic or even polyphyletic because Leonotis leonurus is not closely related to the other species.[6] In 2009, it was shown that Leonotis and 3 other genera are embedded in Leucas,[6] a genus of about 100 species.[2] If the 4 embedded genera were merged with Leucas, the expanded Leucas would have about 132 species.


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ a b c Raymond M. Harley, Sandy Atkins, Andrey L. Budantsev, Philip D. Cantino, Barry J. Conn, Renée J. Grayer, Madeline M. Harley, Rogier P.J. de Kok, Tatyana V. Krestovskaja, Ramón Morales, Alan J. Paton, and P. Olof Ryding. 2004. "Labiatae" pages 167-275. In: Klaus Kubitzki (editor) and Joachim W. Kadereit (volume editor). The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants volume VII. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN 978-3-540-40593-1
  3. ^ a b Mattias Iwarsson and Yvette Harvey. 2003. "Monograph of the genus Leonotis (Pers.) R.Br. (Lamiaceae)". Kew Bulletin 58(3):597-645.
  4. ^ Robert Brown. 1810. Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen:504. (see External links below).
  5. ^ Leonotis In: Index Nominum Genericorum. In: Regnum Vegetabile (see External links below).
  6. ^ a b Anne-Cathrine Scheen and Victor A. Albert. 2009. "Molecular Phylogenetics of the Leucas Group (Lamioideae; Lamiaceae)". Systematic Botany 34(1):173-181.

External linksEdit