Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Orthosiphon aristatus (Blume) Miq.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Inflorescence. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves, flowers and fruit. © B.S. Wannan
Leaves. © G. Sankowsky
Habit. © B.S. Wannan

Miquel, F.A.W. (1858) Flora van Nederlandsch Indie 2(6): 943.

Common name

Cat's Moustache; Cat's Whiskers; Whisker Plant


Erect to spreading, fleshy stemmed herb to 1 m high. Stems square-angled. Rooting along stem.


Leaf blades about 3-16 x 2-4.5 cm, narrow-ovate, ovate to rhomboid, margins toothed. Sessile glands visible on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade. Sparse hairs present on both leaf surfaces. Petiole 1-6 cm long.


Inflorescence a cyme, terminal, 4-6 flowers per node. Calyx curved, 2.5-4.5 mm long, 2-lipped; lower lip 4-toothed; upper lip single, broad, often recurved. Corolla tube slender, 10-16 mm long, white to pale purple, 2-lipped; lower lip entire, concave; upper lip 4-lobed, curved. Stamens 4, all fertile, greatly longer than corolla tube. Style 5-6 cm long; stigma club-shaped, short 2-lobed.


Calyx persistent in fruit, 6.5-12 mm long, enclosing the nutlets. Nutlets smooth.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ, also in cultivation. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 100 m. Grows in rainforest and deciduous closed forests, often at margins. Also known from India, mainland Asia, South East Asia, and New Guinea.

Ocimum aristatum Blume, Bijdragen tot de Flora van Nederlandsch Indie 14: 833-834 (1826). Type: unknown.
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