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  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Blepharis Juss.
      1. Blepharis affinis Lindau

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tanzania to Mozambique.


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

    Erect or procumbent annual, perennial or shrubby herb, unbranched to strongly branched; stems up to 1 m long, finely sericeous or sparsely so with retrorse hairs (more rarely subglabrous or pubescent to pilose).
    Leaves drying blackish, subequal or smaller down to 1/2 of larger; lamina linear to narrowly elliptic (rarely elliptic near base), largest 5–13.5 × 0.2–1.2(–2.2) cm, margin entire or some with 1–3 teeth per side in basal part, glabrous or sparsely to densely sericeous-puberulous (rarely pilose).
    Heads globose or elongated, on upper part of stems (rarely at base); sessile or peduncle up to 1 cm long, sericeous (rarely puberulous); axes sericeous or sericeous- puberulous, without or with sparse (rarely dense in T 8) stalked capitate glands; floral leaves and outer bracts lanceolate to narrowly ovate or narrowly elliptic, up to 2(–4) cm long, sericeous-puberulous and with few to many capitate glands; inner bracts similar or elliptic, up to 1.8 cm long.
    Sepals puberulous to pubescent, with few to many glands, ciliate; dorsal ovate-elliptic with long ligulate apical part (in annual plants slightly spathulate and narrowed below apex), 18–26 mm long, apex acute to truncate, 3-toothed and sometimes with 1(–2) lateral teeth per side; ventral elliptic, not ligulate, 15–22 mm long, usually deeply bifid, usually with central tooth and always with 1–2 lateral teeth per side; lateral 14–22 mm long.
    Corolla pale blue to bright blue or mauve, (22–)25–37 mm long of which the tube (4–)6–9 mm; limb distinctly 3-lobed, below with dense brown capitate glands, callus with two large lateral ribs, central ± absent, two lateral apical flanges much larger than central.
    Filaments (5–)6–10 mm long, glabrous; appendage (1.5–)2–3 mm long, obtuse or tapering to an obtuse tip, curved; anthers 4–6 mm long.
    Capsule ± 1 cm long.
    Seed not seen.
    Range: Mozambique Range: Tanzania. Flora districts: T3 T6 T8 Range: Mozambique
    Brachystegia woodland, usually on loamy soil, coastal bushland and grassland, riverbanks; near sea level to 500(–900) m
    But it dries blackish and has the corolla callus typical of B. affinis. It has very long floral leaves, and in some respects approaches Blepharis stuhlmannii. Bidgood et al. 430 from the foothills of the Nguru Mts is from much higher altitude (900 m) than the rest of the material. In most of its area Blepharis affinis is easily distinguished by the perennial habit, appressed indumentum, leaves drying blackish and the inflorescences towards tip of the stems. An extreme form from T 8 is represented by Issa 116 and Migeod 20: a small ephemeral herb with inflorescences in the axils of the cotyledons, but with large corolla and appressed indumentum. These specimens differ mainly from B. panduriformis in the larger corolla and usually entire leaves, but there are also differences in the shape of the ribs and flanges of the callus on the corolla limb (see descriptions). The indumentum here is often spreading, the annual habit is more common as are inflorescences towards the base of the stems, and the upper sepal is often slightly spathulate. But in T 8 some specimens become ± intermediate with B. panduriformis.



    Native to:

    Mozambique, Tanzania


    Other Data

    Blepharis affinis Lindau appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1997 Stuhlmann [9259], Tanzania K000394318 lectotype


    First published in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas, C: 369 (1895)

    Accepted by

    • Vollesen, K. (2013). Flora Zambesiaca 8(5): 1-184. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Vollesen, K. (2008). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Acanthaceae(1): 1-285.
    • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Vollesen, Blepharis: 273 (2000).
    • Lebrun & Stork, Enum. Pl. Afr. Trop. 4: 473 (1997)
    • Ruffo et al.,Cat. Lushoto Herb. Tanzania: 2 (1996)
    • Opera Bot. 59: 79 (1980)
    • T.T.C.L.: 4 (1949)
    • F.T.A. 5: 97 (1899)
    • E.J. 24: 319 (1897)
    • P.O.A. C: 369 (1895)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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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
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.