Moluccella laevis L.

Molucca Balm

Sp. Pl. 587 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Herb to 70 cm high. Leaves orbicular to ovate, 2–4 cm long and wide, 5-veined from base, apex obtuse, margin crenate to shallowly lobed. Bracts subtending cymes spine-like, c. 1 cm long. Calyx 20–30 mm long, and as wide or wider at apex, c. 15-veined near base, becoming net-veined toward apex, with 5 main veins each ending in a mucro; corolla c. 10–20 mm long, white to pink with mauve markings, abaxial lobe as long as or longer than tube, adaxial lobe much shorter, with a few simple hairs on the hood; anthers and stigma not or barely exserted from hood of adaxial lobe. Mericarps 3–3.5 mm long. Flowers Feb.–Apr.

*GipP, *VVP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, NSW. Native to north-eastern Mediterranean areas. Apparently weakly naturalised in Victoria, represented at MEL only by a pre-1900 specimen labelled 'Wimmera' and a 1988 specimen from Horsham area; occasionally cultivated for the spectacular fruiting calyces and perhaps sometimes persisting around gardens.

Source: Conn, B.J. (1999). Lamiaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-06-07
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Lamiales
family Lamiaceae
genus Moluccella
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Moluccella laevis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Moluccella laevis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Gippsland Plain present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory