Annual or perennial herbs or shrubs. Leaves opposite or whorled. Inflorescence a dense terminal spike. Bracts small, distinct from the leaves. Calyx ± equally 5-toothed; teeth subulate, becoming spiny in fruit. Corolla 2-lipped; upper lip 4-lobed, shorter than the lower; lower lip relatively large, boat-shaped. Stamens 4, didynamous, lying in the lower lip. Style slender, shortly 2-fid.
Pycnostachys is a genus of plants in the Lamiaceae family, first described in 1826. It is native to sub-Saharan Africa including Madagascar.