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For the parish in northern Spain, see Ballota (Cudillero).
Ballota nigra 2005.06.19 10.13.06-p6190007.jpg
Ballota nigra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Tribe: Marrubieae
Genus: Ballota
Type species
Ballota nigra

See text.

Ballota (horehound) is a genus of about 35 species of flowering evergreen perennial plants and subshrubs in the family Lamiaceae, native to temperate regions of Europe, north Africa and western Asia, with the highest diversity in rocky and waste ground in the Mediterranean region.[1] The type species for the genus is Ballota nigra.

Ballota is paraphyletic and will eventually be re-circumscribed. It is closely related to Moluccella and Marrubium.[2] Some of its species had previously been placed in Marrubium.

Ballota species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera including Coleophora case-bearers: C. ballotella, C. lineolea (which has been recorded on B. nigra) and C. ochripennella.

Selected species


  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ Anne-Cathrine Scheen, Mika Bendiksby, Olof Ryding, Cecilie Mathiesen, Victor A. Albert, and Charlotte Lindqvist. 2010. "Molecular Phylogenetics, Character Evolution, and Suprageneric Classification of Lamioideae (Lamiaceae)". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 97(2):191-217. doi:10.3417/2007174