Syncolostemon bracteosus (Benth.) D.F. Otieno

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Syncolostemon bracteosus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Twentydales ext., Epworth, Harare.

Syncolostemon bracteosus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Twentydales ext., Epworth, Harare.

Syncolostemon bracteosus

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road from Main Camp to Sinamatella, Hwange NP

Syncolostemon bracteosus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Val D'Or

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Synonyms: Hemizygia bracteosa (Benth.) Briq.
Hemizygia junodii Briq.
Ocimum bracteosum Benth.
Orthosiphon bracteatus (Benth.) Baker
Orthosiphon rhodesianus S. Moore
Common names: Purple top (English)
Status: Native
Annual or perennial herb, up to 70 cm tall. Stems 4-angled with spreading greyish hairs. Leaves opposite, sessile, narrowly lanceolate, 4-10 cm long, pubescent on both surfaces; margin with small, widely spread teeth. Flowers in 5-12 more or less widely separated whorls, together appearing as a terminal inflorescence, topped by a crown of terminal bright purple, mauve or whitish bracts. Corolla white, sometimes with purple markings in the throat or on the upper lip.
Notes: The flowers are small and fairly inconspicuous but the brightly coloured head of bracts often make this species a striking feature in the field. Sometimes, particularly in lower and drier habitats, plants appear to be weaker annual herbs, often with whitish bracts.
Derivation of specific name: bracteosus: bearing (conspicuous) bracts; referring to the colourful bracts topping the inflorescence
Habitat: In wooded grassland and open woodland.
Flowering time:Oct - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical and South Africa
Botswana distribution: N,SW
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 179. As Hemizygia bracteosa (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 150 - 151. as Hemizygia bracteosa (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 31. As Hemizygia bracteosa

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 394. as Hemizygia bracteosa (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 55. As Hemizygia bracteosa

Paton, A.J. et al. (2013). Lamiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(8) Pages 142 - 144. (Includes a picture).

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 67. as Hemizygia bracteosa (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 78. as Hemizygia bracteosa

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 26. As Hemizygia bracteosa

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 215. as Hemizygia bracteosa

Other sources of information about Syncolostemon bracteosus:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Syncolostemon bracteosus
Flora of Malawi: Syncolostemon bracteosus
Flora of Mozambique: Syncolostemon bracteosus
Flora of Zambia: Syncolostemon bracteosus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Syncolostemon bracteosus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Syncolostemon bracteosus
African Plant Database: Syncolostemon bracteosus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Syncolostemon bracteosus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Syncolostemon bracteosus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Syncolostemon bracteosus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Syncolostemon bracteosus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Syncolostemon bracteosus
JSTOR Plant Science: Syncolostemon bracteosus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Syncolostemon bracteosus
Plants of the World Online: Syncolostemon bracteosus
Tropicos: Syncolostemon bracteosus
Wikipedia: Syncolostemon bracteosus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Syncolostemon bracteosus., retrieved 15 June 2024

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