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  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Nelsonia R.Br.

      1. This genus is accepted, and is native to Asia-Tropical, Africa, Southern America, Australasia and Asia-Temperate..


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

    Annual or perennial herbs without cystoliths.
    Leaves opposite.
    Flowers single, in dense ovate to cylindric terminal or axillary many-flowered spikes, pedicellate; bracts imbricate, spirally arranged, herbaceous, persistent, with a number of indistinct veins from base; bracteoles absent.
    Calyx of 4 thin and herbaceous unequal sepals, dorsal wider, 5-veined from base; ventral bifid, 2-veined; lateral narrower, 1-veined.
    Corolla subactinomorphic or weakly 2-lipped with 2-lobed upper lip and 3-lobed lower lip, glabrous outside; tube short, cylindric, straight.
    Stamens 2, inserted in upper part of tube, ± included; filaments short; anthers 2-thecous, thecae ellipsoid, at same height, with or without small basal flanges; staminodes absent.
    Ovary 2-locular, with 4–15 ovules per locule; style minutely bifid.
    Capsule (2–)8–30-seeded, ovoid-ellipsoid, sessile, rostrate (sterile from apex) with recurved apical part when ripe, retinaculae absent.
    Seed ellipsoid-globose, flattened, covered with minute anchor-shaped hooks.
    Range: 5 Species. Three in Africa one of which extends to India and SE Asia and is introduced in America, one in Australia and one in South America.
    At least part of the type material of N. pohlii, the only name available for the native South American species, belongs to N. canescens. There is also one endemic species in South America, but the picture here has been muddled by the introduction of N. canescens from the Old World. As pointed out by Morton (l.c.) there are two distinct species over most of Africa (as separated below), and there is an additional species in Southern Africa. Br. from Australia is clearly distinct as pointed out by Barker (l.c.). Hossain (l.c.) that this genus only contains one pantropical species. N. campestris R. I find it impossible to agree with E.



    Native to:

    Andaman Is., Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, Chad, China South-Central, China Southeast, Congo, East Himalaya, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Niger, Nigeria, Northern Territory, Panamá, Philippines, Queensland, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Sulawesi, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Western Australia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Florida, French Guiana, Honduras, Mexico Southwest, Puerto Rico

    Accepted Species

    Other Data

    Nelsonia R.Br. appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holland.: 480 (1810)

    Accepted by

    • Daniel, T.D. & McDade, L.A. (2014). Nelsonioideae (Lamiales: Acanthaceae): revision of genera and catalog of species Aliso 32: 1-45.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Bremekamp in Reinwardtia 3: 247 (1955).
    • —F.T.A. 5: 28

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Proc. XIIIth Plen. Meet. AETFAT 1: 315 (1994)
    • Journ. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 9: 52 (1986)
    • Willdenowia 14: 397 (1984)
    • K.B. 33: 401 (1979)
    • Reinwardtia 3: 247 (1955)
    • DC., Prodr. 11: 65 (1847)
    • Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl.: 480 (1810)


    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.