Leonotis africana (P.Beauv.) Briq.
Leonotis kwebensis N.E.Br.
Leonotis ovata Bojer
Leonotis pallida (Schumach. & Thonn.) Benth.
Leonurus globosus Moench
Leonurus marrubiastrum Lour.
Leonurus nepetifolius (L.) Mill.
Phlomis africana P.Beauv.
Phlomis nepetifolia L.
Phlomis pallida Schumach. & Thonn.
Stachys mediterranea Vell.
Golden-winged Sunbird (Drepanorhynchus reichenowi) feeding on the nectar
Photograph by: Steve Garvie
Leonotis nepetifolia is an annual or short-lived perennial plant growing from 1 - 3 metres tall. The stem is branched at the upper nodes only and the plant has an easily uprooted taproot about 10cm long[
The plant is often gathered from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in India, Malaysia, on the Antilles, in Brazil and Africa; and is commonly grown as an ornamental[
Tropical Africa - widespread from Senegal to Eritrea and Ethiopia, south to S. Africa; Madagascar, Mauritius, throughout the Indian subcontinent.
A pantropical weed, often found at roadsides and in abandoned cultivations at altitudes of up to 2,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A pantropical weed[
]. The plant forms dense thickets and is most abundant on heavily disturbed areas such as roadsides, overgrazed pastures and river levee banks. It has the potential to develop into large colonies that displace native species, particularly along riverbanks and flood plains where the spiky nature of the seed heads reduces accessibility[
]. The seeds are dispersed by water and in mud on vehicles and animals. The plant is intentionally spread as an ornamental[
]. They are cooked with green, leafy vegetables[
The nectar is sucked or licked from the base of the flowers. It tastes sweet and is usually eaten in small amounts as a snack. It is usually much liked by children[
The plant is used against swellings, fever, gastro-intestinal troubles and as an abortifacient[
A decoction of the whole plant is employed to clean out the uterus; treat diarrhoea and heavy cramps; as a diuretic; and as a tonic to strengthen the back[
]. It is used in a decoction with Heliotropium indicum o treat bed-wetting[
The whole plant is boiled with Hyptis pectinata, Mikania micrantha and Momordica charantia and used as a wash for piles[
The leaves and flowers are cholagogue. An infusion is used as an antidysenteric; decocted with salt or sugar in a preparation to dissolve renal calculi[
The leaf juice is used in the treatment of thrush. In a plaster for wounds. Cooked in an infusion which is drunk to treat itches and skin diseases; for yaws[
An ethanolic extract of the plant showed antitumor and possibly antimicrobial activity[
In Rwanda, the leaves of this plant are used to treat pneumonia, anthrax and syphilis[
The seeds are rich in a fatty oil resembling olive oil[
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