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  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Crossandra Salisb.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa to Sri Lanka.


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

    Perennial (rarely annual) herbs, subshrubs or shrubs.
    Leaves opposite or in whorls of 4, from below middle usually gradually narrowed into a long-decurrent base.
    Flowers single, in dense sessile or pedunculate, terminal or axillary spikes; bracts imbricate, in 4 rows, persistent, papery to coriaceous, with straight or recurved often pungent tip or 3-lobed at apex, margin entire, toothed, spinulose or setose; lower sterile and smaller; bracteoles 2, usually linear to lanceolate and acuminate to cuspidate, usually herbaceous.
    Calyx glumaceous, divided to base in 5 unequal sepals which are thickened and horny at base; dorsal sepal 2-veined and 2-toothed (in C. cephalostachya and leucodonta 1-veined and 1-toothed), broader than and often enveloping the rest, ventral and lateral 1-veined and 1-toothed, lateral smaller than ventral.
    Corolla puberulous outside; tube linear, usually widened above stamens, with a band of hairs at insertion of stamens; limb and top of tube split posteriorly to give a single 5-lobed lower lip, lobes oblong, obtuse, middle broadest and often emarginate.
    Stamens 4, included, usually inserted ± 1/3 down the tube, subsessile; anthers 1-thecous, oblong, usually rounded to finely apiculate, finely bearded.
    Ovary 2-locular with 2 ovules per locule, glabrous or minutely hairy near top; style usually glabrous, gibbous or not below the obliquely trumpet-shaped or obscurely 2-lobed stigma which is at the same height as anthers.
    Capsule 4-seeded, ellipsoid, sessile, glumaceous, glabrous and shiny.
    Seed discoid, obliquely ovoid, covered by large appressed laciniate scales.
    Range: 52 species in tropical Africa and Madagascar with 1 species extending to India and 1 species endemic in Arabia.



    Native to:

    Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Leeward Is., Myanmar, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuelan Antilles, Vietnam, Windward Is.

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Crossandra Salisb. appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in Parad. Lond. 1: t. 12 (1805)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • —F.T.A. 5: 112.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • K.B. 45: 504 (1990)
    • K.B. 24: 334 (1970)
    • F.T.A. 5: 112 (1899)
    • G.P. 2: 1094 (1876)
    • DC., Prodr. 11: 280 (1847)
    • Parad. Lond.: t. 12 (1805)


    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    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.