MYSTERY SHRUB 23rd Feb 2022…SS: 6 images.
I saw this shrub on Isla de la Plata. Ecuador.
Part of Machalilla National Park.
On 4th April 2019…just 6 pics
I have tried since than to id it…with no joy.
Please may I seek the assistance of the world wide experts that help here to id this very distinctive plant.

Appears to be from Lamiaceae like Phlomis?

However, I do not believe it is Lamiaceae.
The leaves of which emerge oppositely, each pair at right angles to the previous one (decussate) or whorled.
Mystery shrub has alternate leaves.

I have worked  very hard to try and id this myself. ..but I am not a botanist, just a keen amateur.
I loved those green square stems so interesting

To me the globose /spherical  heads of flowers on stalks remind me of a 3 shrubs/trees.

Button bush ………….. Cephalanthus …… ………….. in Rubiaceae… however leaves always seem to be opposite.
Paper mulberry ……… Broussonetia …………………. in Moraceae….. leaves are alternate.
London Plane tree …Platanus x hispanicain …. in Platanaceae.. I discounted these as they are just North hemisphere.
Broussonetia so far seems to be leading in the right direction.
In i naturalist  I found Broussonetia kazinoki…in Ecuador. But there is very little on www about it.
Someone in the world will  surely recognise my mystery shrub/tree

I still feel it may be from Lamiaceae.
Appears close to images at Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R.Br., but peduncles are long in your images.


Thank you for taking the time to look at my mystery shrub, and for your suggestion.

I do not believe that  Leonotis nepetifolia it the answer.
It is a plant that I am familiar with.
The flowers of which form in a circle surrounding the stem.
My pics show the developing seed head on a stalk. , pendulous from the square stem.
It was more woody,tree like than a herbaceous plant.

Any idea about the family?

I think it is not a Lamiacean member. Leaf is alternate here.
It is not close to Leonotis.

thank you for looking and reading my comments.
I may be an amateur… but I do have a fair amount of knowledge.
I discounted  Lamiaceae /and   Leonotis…with my reasons …so frustrating, no one seemed to believe me!
They will believe  you … Assistant Professor in a Department of Botany

It is not that nobody believed you.
But it was just a suggestion from my side (And no ‘Botany’ tag on me. Ha ha ha).
I explored Rubiaceae also, but could not go close to your images.

Leaves are not opposite so cannot be Lamiaceae !

I was thinking of Hyptis (on lines of Hyptis capitata) … but I think I am wrong.
The leaves look different.

I appreciate all help. Thank you.
Hyptis is in Lamiaceae.
I thought we had established that it cannot be in this..see several posts above.
This mystery plant was not a soft herbaceous plant.
It was a shrub/tree …..with strong woody square stems.
The round balls of seeds were quite large as were the leaves.
Apologies that there is nothing to give my pics a scale.
I was so sure it would be easy to id I only took these pics

Pic 3 seems to have some sort of gland in the axil of the leaves.
Does this lead to any further clues?
I have seen something slightly similar in Aleurites molaccana where 2 glands at the junction of the leaf base and petiole secrete a sweetish sap

I tried many permutations and combinations in my first attempt with Google Lens.
I got such glands in Vernicia montana as at
But fruits look different and more like those in Uncaria, Mitragyna etc. of Rubiaceae.

Are you sure it is not a climber?

Thank you for your interest and for asking.
My memory of it was as a shrub.young tree.
It showed no sign of being a tendrils/no signs of twisting branches.
Had it done that i am positive I would have taken a picture of that.

One of my friend says this could be Byttneria. Please check the Malvaceae database for Africa.

this is a new plant to me i will do more research.

To the best of my knowledge this was just a shrub/young tree.
There were no signs of tendrils or twisting branches.
Had I seen any evidence of that that I would have taken pics.

I find the fruits of Byttneria to be a little different.

Look closely!

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