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  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Barleria L.
      1. Barleria mackenii Hook.f.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Tropical & S. Africa.


    Flora Zambesiaca Acanthaceae (part 2) by Iain Darbyshire, Kaj Vollesen and Ensermu Kelbessa

    Subshrub or suffrutex 20–120 cm long, branches erect, straggling or trailing; stems with upper internodes strigulose, lower portion densely (rarely sparsely) and minutely white-velutinous.
    Leaf buds white-strigulose and often white-velutinous. Leaves ovate to narrowly so or elliptic, 3–12 × 1.2–4.2 cm, base attenuate, apex attenuate or acute, rarely obtuse, apiculate, margin and veins beneath strigulose, upper surface often sparsely strigose, later glabrescent; lateral veins 4–6 pairs; petiole 0–12 mm long.
    Inflorescence axillary in upper portion of branches, 1–3-flowered; peduncle 1–8 mm long; bracts foliaceous; bracteoles ± ascending, those at distal axils linear to narrowly oblanceolate, 7–20 × 0.5–2.5 mm, those at proximal fertile axils often larger, narrowly elliptic or oblanceolate, 20–37 × 2.5–9.5 mm, margin and midrib strigose; pedicels 1.5–5 mm long.
    Calyx accrescent; anterior lobe broadly ovate, 13.5–23 × 11–21 mm in flower, 20–32 × 18–25 mm in fruit, base (sub)cordate, apex notched to 4 mm or acute to obtuse, external surface strigose on main veins and margin, internal surface puberulous with mixed eglandular and glandular hairs, venation palmate, prominent; posterior lobe as anterior, 15.5–26 mm long in flower, 23–35 mm long in fruit, apex acute or obtuse, margin often somewhat involute; lateral lobes linear-lanceolate, 7.5–11.5 mm long in flower, 11–14.5 mm in fruit, eglandular- and glandular-pubescent.
    Corolla 31.5–51.5 mm long, blue, mauve or violet with a darker throat, rarely white throughout, upper tube and limb pubescent externally; tube 14.5–24 mm long, basal 3.5–6 mm cylindrical, 4–6 mm wide, then abruptly funnel-shaped to 8–12.5 mm wide in throat; limb subregular or in weak 4+1 arrangement, all lobes usually strongly imbricate even at anthesis; abaxial lobe 13.5–21 × 12–18 mm, offset by 1.5–4.5 mm; lateral lobes as abaxial but 12.5–21.5 mm wide; adaxial lobes 9–15 mm wide.
    Stamens attached 4–6 mm from base of corolla; filaments 12.5–22.5 mm long; anthers 3–4.2 mm long; lateral staminodes 0.5–2.2 mm long.
    Ovary densely eglandular- and glandular-puberulous; style glabrous; stigma 2–3 mm long.
    Capsule 18.5–21.5 mm long, eglandular- and glandular-puberulous.
    Seeds 5.5–7.5 × 5–7 mm.
    Also in Angola, Namibia and South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga).
    Various types of dry woodland (mopane, Acacia, Commiphora, Combretum), often on margins, dambo margins, secondary grassland and open bushland on rocky hillslopes; 800–1500 m.
    Conservation notes: A widespread species from a range of habitats, common in N Botswana; Least Concern.



    Native to:

    Angola, Botswana, Caprivi Strip, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Zambia, Zimbabwe


    Other Data

    Barleria mackenii Hook.f. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1959 Gossweiler, J. [9717], Angola K000913674 isotype
    Bidgood, S. [BO/10], Botswana K000823856
    s.coll. [s.n.], South Africa K000951847 isolectotype
    s.coll. [s.n.], South Africa K000951846 lectotype


    First published in Bot. Mag. 96: t. 5866 (1870)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.

    Not accepted by

    • Shendage, S.M. & Yadav, S.R. (2010). Revision of the genus Barleria (Acanthaceae) in India Rheedea 20: 81-130. [Cited as Barleria gibsonii.]


    Flora Zambesiaca

    • —A. & R. Heath, Field Guide Pl. N. Botswana: 22 (2009).
    • in Merxmüller, Prodr. Fl. SW Afr. 130: 16 (1968).
    • —Meyer in Mitt. Bot. Staatssamml. München 2: 382 (1957).
    • —Obermeijer in Ann. Transv. Mus. 15: 146 (1933).
    • —Clarke in F.T.A. 5: 160 (1899).
    • in Bot. Mag. 96: t.5866 (1870).

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2015). Flora Zambesiaca 8(6): 1-314. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
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    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
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