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Pityrodia augustensis (leaves and flowers).jpg
Pityrodia augustensis
Scientific classification


See text.

  • Dasymalla Endl.
  • Denisonia F.Muell.
  • Dennisonia F.Muell.
  • Depremesnilia F.Muell.
  • Quoya Gaudich.

Pityrodia is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae and is endemic to Australia, most species occurring in Western Australia, a few in the Northern Territory and one in Queensland. Plants in this genus are shrubs with five petals joined to form a tube-shaped flower with four stamens of unequal lengths.


Plants in the genus Pityrodia are evergreen shrubs with erect, usually cylindrical branches. The leaves are simple, net-veined and their bases partly wrap around the stem (decurrent). The flowers may occur singly or in groups and exhibit left-right symmetry. There are 5 sepals which are joined at their bases and 5 petals joined to form a tube. The tube may have 5, unequally sized lobes at the tip or two "lips" - the upper lip having two lobes and the lower one three. There are four stamens with one pair longer than the other. The fruit is a drupe containing up to four seeds.[2][3]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The genus was first described by Robert Brown in 1810. Brown published his description in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae and designated Pityrodia salvifolia as the type species.[1][4] The name Pityrodia is an Ancient Greek word meaning "scale-like".[5]

Pityrodia was originally included in the Verbenaceae. In a review of the genus in 1979, Ahmad Abid Munir included Pityrodia and nine other genera in a family Chloanthaceae, all endemic to Australia and sometimes referred to as "Australian Verbenaceae".[2] The name Chloanthaceae has not been widely adopted and Pityrodia is now included in the Lamiaceae.[6]


In his 1979 paper, Munir described 27 species from Western Australia, 16 from the Northern Territory and one from Queensland,[2] but in 2011, Barry Conn, Murray Henwood and Nicola Streiber transferred some species to Dasymalla, Hemiphora and Quoya and raised a new genus Muniria to which four species of the former Pityrodia were transferred.[7] A new species from Western Australia, (Pityrodia iphthima) has since been described.[6]

The species remaining in Pityrodia are:[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Pityrodia". APNI. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Munir, Ahmad Abid (1979). "A taxonomic revision of the genus Pityrodia (Chloanthaceae)". Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Garden. 2 (1): 1–138.
  3. ^ "Pityrodia". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
  4. ^ Brown, Robert (1810). Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae. London. p. 153. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  5. ^ Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 683.
  6. ^ a b Shepherd, Kelly A. (2007). "Pityrodia iphthima (Lamiaceae), a new species endemic to banded ironstone in Western Australia, with notes on two informally recognised Pityrodia". Nuytsia. 17 (1): 347–352.
  7. ^ Conn, Barry J.; Henwood, Murray J.; Streiber, Nicola (2011). "Synopsis of the tribe Chloantheae and new nomenclatural combinations in Pityrodia s.lat. (Lamiaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany. 24 (1): 1–9. doi:10.1071/SB10039.