Nemesia Vent.

Nemesia is an African (predominantly South African) genus with about 60 species (Mabberley 2008). The genus is popular in cultivation but species are often hard to identify as a result of hybridization. Most plants in cultivation are probably derived from Nemesia caerulea Hiern., N. strumosa Benth. and/or N. versicolor E. Meyer ex Benth. Gardner & Maxwell (2000) distinguish these species and an additional one (Nemesia denticulata (Benth.) Fourcade) while Jäger & al. (2008) refer to all plants in cultivation as “Nemesia-Hybriden”. Since “pure” species are probably no longer cultivated the latter circumscription is applied in the present account.

An additional species, Nemesia melisiifolia Benth., with tiny white corollas, is increasingly found in neighbouring countries. It was formerly found as a wool alien in the British Isles (Clement & Foster 1994) and more recently in France (Portal & Bergeron 2009) and the Netherlands (Denters 2004). In Amsterdam it is naturalized in urban habitats since the 1980’s.


Andrews S. (1997) Certain Nemesia in cultivation. Hardy Pl. 19(1): 51-56.

Clement E.J. & Foster M.C. (1994) Alien plants of the British Isles. BSBI, London: XVIII + 590 p.

Denters T. (2004) Stadsplanten. Veldgids voor de stad. Fontaine Uitgevers, ‘s-Graveland: 432 p.

Gardner M.F. & Maxwell H.S. (2000) Nemesia. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 6. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 307.

Goldblatt P. & Manning J. (2000) Cape Plants. A conspectus of the Cape flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9: 743 p.

Jäger E.J., Ebel F., Hanelt P. & Müller G. (eds.) (2008) Rothmaler Band 5. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Krautige Zier- und Nutzpflanzen. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Portal R. & Bergeron G. (2009) Nemesia melissifolia Benth., une adventice qui pourrait faire son chemin. Digitalis 8: 52-53.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith