Ocimum americanum L.

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Ocimum americanum

Photo: Bart Wursten
River Drive, Zambezi National Park

Ocimum americanum

Photo: Bart Wursten
River Drive, Zambezi National Park

Ocimum americanum

Photo: Bart Wursten
River Drive, Zambezi National Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Ocimum canum Sims
Ocimum canum Sims var. integrifolium Engl.
Ocimum dichotomum Benth.
Ocimum dinteri Briq.
Ocimum fruticulosum Burch.
Ocimum thymoides Baker
Common names:
Status: Native
Aromatic annual or short-lived perennial herb up to 90 cm high. Stems somewhat rounded or quadrangular, erect or ascending, becoming woody near the base, hairy with appressed or retrorse hairs. Leaves narrowly ovate or elliptic, up to 2.5 cm long, mostly hairless or with appressed hairs above and glandular punctate, with longer hairs on the veins beneath; margin entire or very shallowly toothed; petiole 2-15 mm long. Inflorescences lax with verticils c. 10 mm apart. Calyx 1.5-2 mm long, extending to 4 mm in fruit, with long hairs and sessile glands. Corolla white to pale mauve, 4-5 mm long; tube straight, funnel-shaped. Stamens 1-2 mm longer than corolla.
Derivation of specific name: americanum: American
Habitat: In old cultivated ground, along rivers in grassland, particularly when prone to flooding.
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Pantropical and subtropical, including South Africa and naturalized in the Mediterranean )introduced and Australia.
Botswana distribution: N,SW,SE
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Sunday 6 March 2016

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

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 26. As Ocimum americanum americanum and O. americanum pilosum

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 78.

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 358. (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 56.

Paton, A.J. et al. (2013). Lamiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(8) Pages 113 - 115. (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 70.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 556 - 557. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (1998). Common Wild Flowers of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part II Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 100 - 102. as Ocimum canum (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (2011). Wild flowers, Waterplants and Grasses of the Okavango Delta and Kalahari "Did You Know" nature series Struik Nature for Veronica Roodt Publications Page 82. as Ocimum americanum var. pilosum (Includes a picture).

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

Other sources of information about Ocimum americanum:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Ocimum americanum
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Ocimum americanum
Flora of Malawi: Ocimum americanum
Flora of Mozambique: Ocimum americanum
Flora of Zambia: Ocimum americanum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ocimum americanum

External websites:

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

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: Ocimum americanum.
https://www.botswanaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=150300, retrieved 26 May 2024

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