Lippia javanica (Burm.f.) Spreng.

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Lippia javanica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road between Kaperekeza turn-off and Thazima Gate, Nyika National Park

Lippia javanica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road between Kaperekeza turn-off and Thazima Gate, Nyika National Park

Lippia javanica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road between Kaperekeza turn-off and Thazima Gate, Nyika National Park

Lippia javanica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near entrance road to Luwawa Forest Lodge.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Blairia javanica (Burm. f.) Gaertn.
Lantana lavandulacea Willd.
Lippia asperifolia sensu Martineau
Lippia capensis (Thunb.) Spreng.
Lippia galpiniana H. Pearson
Lippia whytei Moldenke
Phyla javanica (Burm. f.) Moldenke
Verbena capensis Thunb.
Verbena javanica Burm. f.
Zapania javanica (Burm. f.) Lam.
Common names: Fever tea (English) Lemon bush (English)
Status: Native
Shrub. Leaves opposite or in whorls of 3, elliptic, venation distinctly sunken above, both sides hairy, margins dentate. Flowers in dense, round, small, stalked clusters, creamy-white.
Notes: The leaves are used as a medicinal, herbal tea to treat coughs and aching muscles.
Derivation of specific name: javanica: of Java although this species is purely African. The species was originally described as Verbena javanica by the Dutch botanist Nicolaas Laurens Burman (1734-1793) who mistakenly thought the type specimen was collected in Java.
Habitat: In grassland on hillsides and stream banks, and as a constituent of the scrub on the fringes of forest.
Altitude range: Above 0 m
Flowering time:All year
Worldwide distribution: Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini and North West, Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 11 October 2019

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 142 - 143. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 283.

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 832. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 37.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 24.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 976.

Coates Palgrave, M. (1989). Guide to the trees and shrubs of the Mukuvisi Woodlands ?publisher. Page 29.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 116.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 28.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 271.

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 342 - 343. (Includes a picture).

Fernandes, R. (2005). Verbenaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(7) Pages 35 - 37.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1973). A checklist and discussion of the flora of a portion of the Lomagundi District, Rhodesia. Kirkia 9(1) Page 172.

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 120. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 82.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 101.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 180 - 181. (Includes a picture).

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 578 - 579. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 110.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 29.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Pages 72 - 73. As Lippia species? (Lippia Javanica referred to here)

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 184.

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Pages 182 - 183. (Includes a picture).

Verdcourt, B. (1992). Verbenaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 30 - 31.

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Page 588.

Wild, H. (1965). The Flora of the Great Dyke of Southern Rhodesia with special reference to the Serpentine soils. Kirkia 5(1) Page 64.

Other sources of information about Lippia javanica:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Lippia javanica
Flora of Mozambique: Lippia javanica
Flora of Zambia: Lippia javanica
Flora of Zimbabwe: Lippia javanica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Lippia javanica
African Plant Database: Lippia javanica
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Lippia javanica
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Lippia javanica
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Lippia javanica
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Lippia javanica
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Lippia javanica
JSTOR Plant Science: Lippia javanica
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Lippia javanica
Plants of the World Online: Lippia javanica
Tropicos: Lippia javanica
Wikipedia: Lippia javanica

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Lippia javanica., retrieved 12 April 2024

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