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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Lamioideae
Tribus: Marrubieae
Genus: Ballota
Species: B. grisea – B. nigra – B. philistaea – B. platyloma

Species proposed to be placed into Pseudodictamnus (Siadati et al., 2018), but without combination in this genus: B. adenophora – B. andreuzziana – B. antalyensis – B. antilibanotica – B. byblensis – B. cristata – B. glandulosissima – B. kaiseri – B. larendana – B. luteola – B. macrodonta – B. saxatilis – B. sechmenii – B. vellerea

Species placed into Pseudodictamnus (Siadati et al., 2018): B. acetabulosaB. africana – B. aucheri – B. bullata – B. damascena – B. hirsuta – B. hispanica – B. inaequidens – B. latibracteolata – B. macedonica – B. pseudodictamnus – B. rotundifolia – B. undulata
Source(s) of checklist:
Checklist based critically on accepted species according to Govaerts et al. (2015) and Tropicos (2015). Recent changes: Siadati et al., 2018


Ballota L., Sp. Pl. 2: 582. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 253. 1754.

Lectotype species: Ballota nigra L., Sp. Pl. 2: 582. 1753, designated by N.L. Britton & A.Brown 1913: 122, supported by M.L.Green, Prop. Brit. Bot. 165. Aug 1929.

Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 582. Reference page.
Linnaeus, C. 1754. Genera Plantarum, ed. 5: 253. Reference page.

Additional references

Siadati, S., Salmaki, Y., Mehrvarz, S.S., Heubl, G. & Weigend, M. 2018. Untangling the generic boundaries in tribe Marrubieae (Lamiaceae: Lamioideae) using nuclear and plastid DNA sequences. Taxon 67(4): 770–783. DOI: 10.12705/674.6 ResearchGate Reference page.
Britton, N.L. & Brown, A. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British possessions: from Newfoundland to the parallel of the southern boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the 102d meridian. ed. 2. C. Scribner's sons, New York. Vol. 3: 122. Reference page.
Hitchcock, A.S. & Green, M.L. 1929. Standard species of Linnaean genera of Phanerogamae (1753–1754). pp. 111–195 in International Botanical Congress. Cambridge (England), 1930. Nomenclature. Proposals by British Botanists. His Majesty's Stationery Office, London. Biblioteca Digital Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Ballota in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Apr. 30. Reference page.
Farr, E.R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds.) 1996 onwards. Ballota in Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Accessed: 2019 Apr. 30.
Tropicos.org 2014. Ballota. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2014 June 12.
International Plant Names Index. 2014. Ballota. Published online. Accessed: June 12 2014.

Vernacular names
العربية: دانة
azərbaycanca: Ballota
беларуская: Белакудранік
català: Ballota
čeština: balota
Deutsch: Schwarznesseln
English: Horehound
Esperanto: Baloteo
فارسی: فراسیون‌آسا
suomi: Porrot
עברית: גלונית
hornjoserbsce: Měrnica
polski: Mierznica
русский: Белокудренник
slovenčina: balota

Ballota (horehound) is a genus of flowering evergreen perennial plants and subshrubs in the family Lamiaceae. native to temperate regions. The Mediterranean region has the highest diversity in the genus, with more isolated locations in South Africa, Central Asia, northern Europe, and the islands of the eastern North Atlantic.[1][2] It is found in rocky and waste ground.[3]

Ballota is paraphyletic and will eventually be re-circumscribed. It is closely related to Moluccella and Marrubium.[4] 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.


Ballota acetabulosa (L.) Benth. - Greece, Turkey
Ballota adenophora Hedge - Saudi Arabia
Ballota africana (L.) Benth. -South Africa, Namibia
Ballota andreuzziana Pamp. - Libya
Ballota antilibanotica Post - Syria, Lebanon
Ballota aucheri Boiss. - Iran, Iraq
Ballota bullata Pomel. - Algeria, Tunisia
Ballota byblensis Semaan & R.M.Haber - Lebanon
Ballota cristata P.H.Davis - Antalya region of Turkey
Ballota damascena Boiss. - Syria, Egypt
Ballota deserti (de Noé) Jury, Rejdali & A.J.K.Griffiths - Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania
Ballota glandulosissima Hub.-Mor. & Patzak - Turkey
Ballota grisea Pojark. - Caucasus
Ballota hirsuta Benth. - Spain, Portugal, Balearic Islands, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad; naturalized on Corsica
Ballota hispanica (L.) Benth. - Italy, Sicily, Albania, Yugoslavia
Ballota inaequidens Hub.-Mor. & Patzak - Antalya region of Turkey
Ballota kaiseri Täckh. - Sinai
Ballota larendana Boiss. & Heldr. - Turkey
Ballota latibracteolata P.H.Davis & Doroszenko - Antalya + Içel regions of Turkey
Ballota luteola Velen - Saudi Arabia
Ballota macedonica Vandas - Albania, Yugoslavia, Greece
Ballota macrodonta Boiss. & Balansa - Nigde region of Turkey
Ballota nigra L. - most of Europe; North Africa, Middle East as far east as Iran; naturalized in New Zealand, Argentina, North America
Ballota philistaea Bornm. - Israel
Ballota platyloma Rech.f. - Iran
Ballota pseudodictamnus (L.) Benth. - Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Libya; naturalized in Italy
Ballota rotundifolia K.Koch - Erzurum region of Turkey
Ballota saxatilis Sieber ex C.Presl - Middle East from Turkey to Saudi Arabia
Ballota sechmenii Gemici & Leblebici - Turkey
Ballota undulata (Sieber ex Fresen.) Benth. - Middle East from Syria to Saudi Arabia
Ballota vellerea Maire, Weiller & Wilczek - Morocco


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Altervista Flora Italiana, Genere Ballota
RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
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

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