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  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Blepharis Juss.
      1. Blepharis boranensis Vollesen

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to N. Kenya.


    Acanthaceae (part 1), Kaj Vollesen, Flora of Tropical East Africa, 2008

    Perennial herb with prostrate stems from woody rootstock; stems to 35 cm long, subglabrous to densely puberulous when young.
    Leaves sometimes purple tinged, scabrid-puberulous to glabrous; lamina elliptic or narrowly so (rarely lanceolate), largest (3–)4–12 × (0.3–)0.5–1.5(–2) cm; petiole of some or all on each side with 1–2 teeth within 2 mm of base, margin on each side with (10–)20-over 50 (usually some over 20) fine forwardly directed teeth, glabrous to sparsely puberulous and with sparse to dense broad glossy hairs on midrib beneath.
    Spikes 2–7.5(–12) cm long; peduncle 0.5–1 cm long, with 4–6 pairs of sterile bracts; fertile bracts elliptic-obovate or broadly so, 2.2–3.5 × 0.8–1.6 cm of which the straight to slightly recurved narrowly triangular spinose tip 0.5–1 cm, each side with (5–)7–12 straight or slightly reflexed teeth of which the longest 4–7 mm, glabrous to minutely puberulous and usually with scattered to dense puberulous to pilose hairs, often only on veins; bracteoles 14–21(–23) mm long, minutely puberulous or sparsely so and distinctly puberulous-ciliate.
    Sepals sparsely to densely minutely puberulous or sericeous-puberulous, distinctly pilose-ciliate; dorsal ovate-elliptic or broadly so, 17–23(–25) mm long, 5(–7)-veined from base, narrowing abruptly to a subligulate apical part which narrows gradually to an often irregularly 3-toothed apex (often appearing irregularly toothed because apical part becomes scarious and disintegrates); ventral broadly ovate-elliptic, 12–17(–20) mm long, 5(–7)-veined from base, narrowing gradually to an apex with 2 triangular and mucronate teeth; lateral 8–10 mm long.
    Corolla bright blue to dark blue, (25–)27–35 mm long of which the tube 4–7 mm.
    Filaments 7–10 mm long, glabrous to sparsely glandular, all four hairy towards base; appendage 4–6.5 mm long, from shorter to longer than anther; anthers 4–6 mm long.
    Capsule 10–11 mm long.
    Seed 6–7 × ± 5 mm.
    Range: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia Range: Kenya. Flora districts: K1 Flora districts: K1 Range: Ethiopia Range: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia
    Acacia-Commiphora bushland on rocky hills; no altitude given Acacia-Commiphora woodland and bushland on sandy soil derived from limestone or on rocky limestone slopes; 650 m (900–1300 m in Ethiopia).
    Blepharis boranensis is widespread in SE Ethiopia where it almost exclusively occurs on crystalline limestone. There is no indication of the substrate of the single Kenyan collection. The species is almost certainly more widespread in NE Kenya. It differs most conspicuously from B. edulis in the perennial habit, more numerous forwardly directed leaf-teeth, spiny petiole and larger corolla. Only known from 4 collections from adjacent areas of NE Kenya and SE Ethiopia It differs from the other subspecies of the variable C. infundibuliformis in the appressed silvery indumentum on stems and leaves and in the small leaves (see Vollesen in K.B. 45: 122 (1990)). C. infundibuliformis subsp. infundibuliformis – a native of India – is occasionally cultivated in Tanzania and has also been recorded as an escaped weed in the Sudan. It differs in having a spreading non-silvery indumentum and larger leaves.
    Type: Ethiopia, Sidamo Region, El Siro Wells, Friis, Mesfin & Vollesen 3216 (K!, holo.; C!, ETH, UPS, iso.)
    Indumentum silvery-sericeous.



    Native to:

    Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia

    Other Data

    Blepharis boranensis Vollesen appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1997 Burger, W. [3560], Ethiopia K000394175 holotype


    First published in Blepharis (Acanthac.) Taxon. Revis.: 110 (2000)

    Accepted by

    • Vollesen, K. (2008). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Acanthaceae(1): 1-285.
    • Hedberg, I., Kelbessa, E., Edwards, S., Demissew, S. & Persson, E. (eds.) (2006). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 5: 1-690. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (2006). Flora of Somalia 3: 1-626. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Govaerts, R. (2001). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS E-F: 1-50919.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • F.E.E. 5: 360 (2006)
    • F.E.E. 5: 366 (2006).
    • Fl. Somalia 3: 380 (2006).
    • Blepharis: 110 (2000)
    • Lebrun & Stork, Enum. Pl. Afr. Trop. 4: 476 (1997)
    • K.B. 45: 125 & 514 (1990)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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