Blue Cat's Whiskers

Rotheca myricoides

Rotheca sp. from Nairobi, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

A tall, leafy shrub at a roadside at Mweiga, Nyeri, Kenya, Dec. 2015.

SHRUBBY:Shrubby plant reaching more then 2 meters tall.

LEAVES: The opposite leaves are elliptical and have broad teeth along the margin. Occasionally the leaves are whorled - three or four to the node.

FLOWERS: The anthers and pistil are strongly arched above the floral tube entrance and the petals are distinctly two-toned in most examples.

RANGE: Widely distributed in East Africa where native, but now cultivated in tropical locations around the world.

FRUIT: Usually four-lobed, but sometimes fewer.


The thumb link below appears to be a separate, but closely related species from western Kenya:

Blue Cat's Whiskers, Bilaterally symetrical flowers of Rotheca, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Lamiaceae -- Mint Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 6 February 2016,
updated 24 June 2016.