Ballota (horehound) is a genus of about 35 species of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae, native to temperate regions of Europe, north Africa and western Asia, with the highest diversity in the Mediterranean region. The type species for the genus is Ballota nigra.
Ballota is paraphyletic and will eventually be re-circumscribed. It is closely related to Moluccella and Marrubium. 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.
^ 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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