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  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Blepharis Juss.
      1. Blepharis maderaspatensis (L.) B.Heyne ex Roth

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Africa, Arabian Peninsula to Indo-China, Hainan.


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

    Suberect, procumbent or scrambling perennial (rarely annual) herb (rarely a suberect or trailing subshrub); stems up to 2 m long, sometimes rooting at nodes, pubescent to pilose or sparsely so or sericeous, sometimes only in a single band (rarely subglabrous).
    Leaves often paler beneath; lamina elliptic (rarely ovate or slightly obovate), largest 2–9(–12.5) × 0.8–3.5(–5) cm, margin entire or distantly toothed, hispid-puberulous to pubescent or sparsely so, often densest on veins (rarely subglabrous).
    Spikes solitary or in clusters of up to 11, dispersed whole when mature; bracts greenish to yellowish brown, sometimes with purple veins, elliptic-obovate to orbicular, subglabrous to puberulous or pubescent (rarely densely so), terminating in a recurved bristle and on each side with 4–10 retrorsely barbed and finely glochidiate bristles 1–5 mm long; lower pair 2–8 mm long, second pair 4–12 mm long, third pair 5–12(–14) mm long, inner pair 6–13(–16) mm long; bracteoles absent.
    Sepals puberulous or sparsely so (rarely pubescent or sparsely pilose) and ciliate, colour as bracts; dorsal ovate-elliptic, 9–22(–25) mm long, narrowing gradually to the acute to rounded apex; ventral similar, 8–20 mm long, with two small apical teeth; lateral 5–10(–12) mm long.
    Corolla white or cream with purple veins, 12–27(–30) mm long of which the tube 4–8 mm, callus with one (rarely 3) inconspicuous (rarely distinct) apical flange; hairs on upper surface of limb strongly bent.
    Filaments 2–9 mm long, sparsely glandular (rarely hairy); appendage 0.5–1 mm long, broadly rounded; anthers 2–4 mm long.
    Capsule 5–7 mm long.
    Seed ± 4.5 × 3 mm.
    Fig. 17.
    Range: Widespread in tropical Africa and through Arabia to India and Thailand Flora districts: U1 U2 U3 K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 Flora districts: Z P Range: Widespread in tropical Africa and through Arabia to India and Thailand Range: Uganda. Range: Kenya. Range: Tanzania.
    A wide range of grassland, bushland, woodland and forest habitats, also commonly in disturbed and secondary vegetation and ruderal; 0–1850 m
    Napper in K.B. 24: 323 (1970) divides the East African material of this widespread, often semi-weedy species, into two subspecies and one of these into two varieties: subsp. maderaspatensis var. maderaspatensis with small (12–18 mm long) corolla and upper sepal twice as long as longest bracts occurs along the coast while var. abyssinica with large (20–27 mm long) corolla occurs inland in Uganda and W Tanzania. Most of the collections from here are intermediate between all the above taxa with a large variation in corolla length combined with an upper sepal which is usually 1/2–2/3 longer than the longest bracts. Closer examination of the East African material also shows that there are intermediate collections. Subsp. rubiifolia with included or slightly exserted upper sepal and small (11–18 mm long) corolla occurs inland all over East Africa. If we also consider the Indian material the picture becomes much less clear. Most material from T 5 & 7 – which ought to be subsp. rubiifolia – have somewhat exserted upper sepal and corolla up to 22 mm long (e.g. Bidgood et al. 1063, Greenway & Polhill 11521, Lovett et al. 1949). Examination of the material from southern tropical Africa shows a large variation in length of the upper sepal with most material ± intermediate between the two subspecies. See also Vollesen, l.c. for a detailed discussion of the variation in this species. Some specimens from upland K 4 are also intermediate between the two subspecies and between the varieties of subsp. maderaspatensis (e.g. Hucks 203, Mungai et al. 291A). Adamson 590 from Kenya, Northern Frontier District: Melka Ioni is a trailing subshrub with very large sepals and corolla (maximum dimensions in text). Gillett 12827 from Moyale has similarly large flowers and also very large inner bracts (maximum dimension in text). These collections seem to be but extreme forms.

    Acanthaceae, H. Heine. Flora of West Tropical Africa 2. 1963

    Suffrutescent herb, usually procumbent,
    Coarsely pubescent on the young parts
    Whorled leaves
    White flowers 1/2 in. long in short finely-spiny spikes
    A weed of roadsides, waste places and forest margins in savanna.



    Native to:

    Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Repu, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hainan, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Socotra, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe


    Other Data

    Blepharis maderaspatensis (L.) B.Heyne ex Roth appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1997 Schimper [1492], Ethiopia K000394271 isotype
    Jan 1, 1997 Teague, A.J. [426], Zimbabwe K000394256 isotype
    Jan 1, 1997 Ehrenberg, C.G. [s.n.], Ethiopia K000394272 isotype
    Drummond, R.B. [2930], Tanzania 13064.000
    Faulkner, H. [795], Tanzania 17151.000
    Gossweiler, J. [298], Angola K001009419
    Gossweiler, J. [103], Angola K001009421
    Gossweiler, J. [8307], Angola K001009428
    Welwitsch [5129], Angola K001009422
    Welwitsch [5054], Angola K001009423
    Pearson, H.H.W. [2696], Angola K001009425
    Pearson, H.H.W. [2039], Angola K001009426
    Pearson, H.H.W. [2736], Angola K001009427
    Baum, H. [773], Angola K001009420
    Monteiro [s.n.], Angola K001009424
    Henriques, C. [983], Angola K001009418


    First published in Nov. Pl. Sp.: 320 (1821)

    Accepted by

    • Balkrishna, A. (2018). Flora of Morni Hills (Research & Possibilities): 1-581. Divya Yoga Mandir Trust.
    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Daniel, T.F. (2014). Taxonomy of Anisotes Nees (Acanthaceae: Justicieae) in the Comoros archipelago and a preliminary list of Acanthaceae in the islands Candollea 69: 45-54.
    • Sikarwar, R.L.S. (2014). Angiosperm diversity assessment of Chitrakootthe legendary place of Vindhyan range, India Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 38: 563-619.
    • Vollesen, K. (2013). Flora Zambesiaca 8(5): 1-184. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Meena, S.L. (2012). A checklist of the vascular plants of Banaskantha district, Gujarat, India Nelumbo 54: 39-91.
    • Vollesen, K. (2008). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Acanthaceae(1): 1-285.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • 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.
    • Catarino, L., Martins, E.S., Diniz, M.A. & Pinto-Basto, M.F. (2006). Check-list da flora vascular do parque natural das Lagos de Cufada (Guiné-Bissau) Garcia de Orta, Série de Botânica 17: 97-141.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (2006). Flora of Somalia 3: 1-626. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Lê, T.C. (2005). Danh l?c các loài th?c v?t Vi?t Nam 3: 1-1248. Hà N?i : Nhà xu?t b?n Nông nghi?p.
    • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
    • Kress, W.J., DeFilipps, R.A., Farr, E. & Kyi, D.Y.Y. (2003). A Checklist of the Trees, Shrubs, Herbs and Climbers of Myanmar Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 45: 1-590. Smithsonian Institution.
    • Collenette, S. (1999). Wildflowers of Saudi Arabia: 1-799. National commission for wildlife conservation and development (NCWCD), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
    • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.
    • Hansen, A. & Sunding, P. (1993). Flora of Macaronesia. Checklist of vascular plants. 4. revised edition Sommerfeltia 17: 1-295.
    • Barry, J. P. & Celles, J.S. (1991). Flore de Mauritanie 1: 1-359. Centre Regional de Documentation Pedagogique, Nice.
    • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
    • Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Berhaut Fl. Sén. 62.
    • Nov. Pl. Sp. Ind. Or. 320 (1821)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • F.E.E. 5: 363 (2006)
    • Fl. Somalia 3: 384 (2006).
    • Biol. Skr. 51(2): 438 (2005)
    • Vollesen, Blepharis: 198 (2000)
    • Lebrun & Stork, Enum. Pl. Afr. Trop. 4: 473 (1997)
    • Ruffo et al.,Cat. Lushoto Herb. Tanzania: 3 (1996)
    • Symb. Bot. Ups. 29(3): 160 (1991)
    • Blundell, Wild Fl. E. Afr.: 389, pl. 602 (1987)
    • Fl. Rwanda 3: 441 (1985)
    • Serengeti Res. Inst. Publ. No. 215: 25 (1976)
    • U.K.W.F.: 579 (1974)
    • K.B. 24: 323 (1970)
    • E.P.A.: 952 (1964), excl. syn. Ruellia ciliaris
    • F.W.T.A. ed. 2, 2: 410 (1963)
    • F.P.U.: 142 (1962)
    • F.P.S. 3: 171 (1956)
    • T.T.C.L.: 5 (1949)
    • F.P.N.A. 2: 289 (1947)
    • Ann. Transv. Mus. 19: 132 (1937)
    • Nov. Pl. Sp. Ind. Or.: 320 (1821)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa

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