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  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Blepharis Juss.
      1. Blepharis asteracantha C.B.Clarke

        This species is accepted, and its native range is W. & SW. Tanzania to N. Zambia.

    [FTEA]

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

    Fruits
    Capsule and seed not seen.
    Ecology
    Forming floating swards in lakes and swamps, trailing on drying mud, floodplains, wet grassland, weed in maize fields, on grey to black clayey or peaty soil, rarely on sand; 1050–1850 m
    Note
    The aquatic habit of some populations in W Tanzania and N Zambia (e.g. Bally 7562, Lowe 553) is unique to Blepharis, but apart from the spongy floating or creeping stems, there are no characters to separate them from terrestrial forms, and some erect terrestrial specimens from Congo (e.g. Malaisse 6358) have the same spongy stems.
    Habit
    Erect to procumbent terrestrial perennial herb with creeping rootstock or aquatic herb with floating (or trailing on mud) spongy stems; stems up to 60 cm long, distinctly angular, glabrous or with sparse pilose or appressed hairs, soon with glossy yellowish brown bark.
    Leaves
    Leaves with lamina linear-lanceolate to elliptic, largest 7–23 × 0.3–1.5(–2) cm, margin entire (rarely some with 1(–2) teeth), glabrous to sparsely scabrid-puberulous, subequal.
    Flowers
    Heads globose, on upper part of stems; peduncle (1.5–)3–14 cm long, sericeous-puberulous or sparsely so, with or without capitate glands; axes sericeous-puberulous, with or without capitate glands; floral leaves and outer bracts lanceolate to narrowly ovate-elliptic, 3–9 cm long, puberulous or sparsely so and conspicuously shaggy-ciliate with long white hairs (some over 1 mm long), no capitate glands; inner bracts similar, up to 2.5 cm long, with or without capitate glands.
    Calyx
    Sepals with similar indument, with capitate glands towards base; dorsal elliptic, 20–29 mm long, with short to long ligulate apical part or narrowing gradually to apex, apex acute to truncate, 1–3-toothed, lateral teeth absent; ventral ovate-elliptic, 17–26 mm long, not ligulate, shortly to deeply bifid, without (very rarely with) central tooth, without lateral teeth; lateral 15–25 mm long.
    Corolla
    Corolla bright or deep blue with darker veins, 25–35 mm long of which the tube 4–7 mm; limb distinctly 3-lobed, below with few to many capitate glands, callus without or with 2 indistinct ribs, 2 lateral apical flanges larger than central.
    Filaments
    Filaments 5–9 mm long, glabrous; appendage 1–2 mm long, broadly rounded; anthers 3–5 mm long.
    Distribution
    Flora districts: T4 T7 Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Zambia Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Zambia Range: Tanzania.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Blepharis asteracantha C.B.Clarke appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1997 Nutt, W.H. [s.n.], Zambia K000394243 holotype

    Bibliography

    First published in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 5: 100 (1899)

    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.

    Literature

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Vollesen, Blepharis: 257 (2000).
    • Lebrun & Stork, Enum. Pl. Afr. Trop. 4: 473 (1997)
    • F.T.A. 5: 100 (1899)

    Sources

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0