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Herbs, or sometimes shrubby. Flowers in axillary whorls or forming a loose terminal spicate or paniculate inflorescence. Stamens exserted, in 2 pairs, those of the lower pair often ± longer;


About 5-6 spp., through the Old World, from E. Africa through SE. Asia, and Malesia to NE. Australia; in Malesia: 2 spp.


BABU & NAYAR () have proposed to conserve the name Anisomeles against Epimeredi ADANS. 1763, because ROTHMALER () had claimed that ADANSON'S type (in P) was Anisomeles. According to BAKHUIZEN VAN DEN BRINK F. () this is a mixture, making conservation unnecessary.


Already BENTHAM () remarked on the difficulty of specific delimitation. Alluding to R. BROWN, who described three species from Australia, he said he could not follow him, having a very much larger range of specimens before him, and decided that they form a continuum of one variable species, A. salviifolia. However, he remarked in addition that certain specimens were very similar to others found in India, but did not further elaborate this point.
CLARKE () had four species, but made a remark under two of them, viz A. candicans BTH. and A. heyneana BTH. to the effect that they were very doubtful or perhaps a form of another species, thus leaving only two distinct species.
Both the continental Asian and Malesian material, of which I have now a far larger range of specimens than BENTHAM, shows a large variability; in habit and degree of hairiness. Leaf-shape varies considerably, apical and basal leaves differ in one specimen; and there are degrees and transitions of the leaf-base, from narrow-cuneate to rounded.
There appears to be only one major constant taxonomic character, viz the length (not the exact shape) of the calyx lobes in proportion to the calyx tube.
It may be possible that there occur, besides the phenotypic and the fluctuating variability, genetically defined replacing races or subspecies, but their discrimination falls outside the realm of herbarium taxonomy.


BRIQ. - in E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam. 4. 1896: 268
KENG - in Gard. Bull. Sing. 1969: 33