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  1. Family: Rubiaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Spermacoce L.
      1. Spermacoce arvensis (Hiern) R.D.Good

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Congo to Tanzania and S. Tropical Africa.

    [FZ]

    Rubiaceae, B. Verdcourt. Flora Zambesiaca 5:1. 1989

    Habit
    Annual herb (3)8–30(70) cm. tall, sometimes slender in habit but often coarse and appearing quite different; stems drying blackish purple, often with paler longitudinal lines, densely covered with spreading hairs, usually sparingly branched or unbranched.
    Leaves
    Leaf blades 1.3–7 cm. x 2–9 mm., lanceolate, acute at the apex, narrowed at the base into the stipule sheath, covered with long rather coarse hairs on both surfaces and also scabrid with shorter hairs near the margins; stipules with fimbriae crimson or red-brown in life but mostly blackish purple when dry; base 2 mm. long with 5–7 fimbriae 3–8 mm. long, with long white hairs.
    Flowers
    Flowers in many-flowered verticillate clusters, mostly at the upper nodes which run together to form a dense coarse strobilate inflorescence 0.7–1.5 cm. wide, but usually with 1 -2 clusters at the nodes beneath and well separated; bracteoles stipule-like, of 5–6 lanceolate fimbriae 5–6 mm. long, joined at the base, ciliate along the margins.
    Calyx
    Calyx tube 1.8 mm. long, ellipsoid; lobes 2,3 mm. long, 0.6 mm. wide at the base, lanceolate.
    Corolla
    Corolla white or with purplish tips to lobes outside or blue; tube 8–12 mm. long, very narrowly cylindrical; lobes 1.8–3 x 0.8–1.2 mm., narrowly elliptic or linear-oblong, sparsely hairy outside.
    Filaments
    Filaments exserted c. 1–2 mm.
    Pistil
    Style exserted 1.2–2 mm.; stigma slightly bifid, 0.5 mm. wide.
    Fruits
    Capsule 3–3.5 x 1.8–2 mm., ellipsoid, shortly hairy at the apex.
    Seeds
    Seeds chestnut-brown; 2.7 mm. long, 1.1–1.5 mm. wide, 0.9 mm. thick, semi-ellipsoid, shiny, flat and narrowly grooved ventrally, the groove opening out at each end, convex dorsally, rugulose.
    [FTEA]

    Rubiaceae, B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1976

    Habit
    Annual herb (4.5–)8–30(–70) cm. tall, sometimes slender in habit but often coarse and appearing quite different; stems drying blackish purple, often with paler longitudinal lines, densely covered with spreading hairs, usually sparingly branched or unbranched.
    Leaves
    Leaf-blades lanceolate, 1.3–7 cm. long, 2–9 mm. wide, acute at the apex, narrowed at the base into the stipule-sheath, covered with long rather coarse hairs on both surfaces and also scabrid with shorter hairs near the margins; stipules with fimbriae crimson or red-brown in life but mostly blackish purple when dry; base 2 mm. long, with 5–7 fimbriae 3–8 mm. long, with long white hairs.
    Flowers
    Flowers in many-flowered verticillate clusters, mostly at the upper nodes which run together to form a dense coarse strobilate inflorescence 0.7–1.5 cm. wide, but usually with 1–2 clusters at the nodes beneath and well separated; bracteoles stipule-like, of 5–6 lanceolate fimbriae 5–6 mm. long, joined at the base, ciliate along the margins.
    Calyx
    Calyx-tube ellipsoid, 1.8 mm. long; lobes 2, lanceolate, 3 mm. long, 0.6 mm. wide at the base.
    Corolla
    Corolla white or with purplish tips to lobes outside or blue; tube very narrowly cylindrical, 9.5–12 mm. long; lobes narrowly elliptic or linear-oblong, 1.8–3 mm. long, 0.8–1.2 mm. wide, sparsely hairy outside.
    Filaments
    Filaments exserted ± 1–2 mm.
    Pistil
    Style exserted 1.2–2 mm.; stigma slightly bifid, 0.5 mm. wide.
    Fruits
    Capsule ellipsoid, 3–3.5 mm. long, 1.8–2 mm. wide, shortly hairy at the apex.
    Seeds
    Seeds chestnut-brown, semi-ellipsoid, 2.7 mm. long, 1.1–1.5 mm. wide, 0.9 mm. thick, shiny, flat and narrowly grooved ventrally, the groove opening out at each end, convex dorsally, rugulose.
    Figures
    Fig. 49/5, p. 340.
    Habitat
    Secondary deciduous woodland, bushland and grassland; 1200–1620 m.
    Distribution
    T4 T5

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Spermacoce arvensis (Hiern) R.D.Good appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Sep 12, 1984 Welwitsch [3227], Angola K000173018 isosyntype
    Bidgood, S. [5876], Tanzania K000468549
    Welwitsch [3236], Angola K000173019 isosyntype

    Bibliography

    First published in J. Bot. 65(Suppl. 2): 41 (1927)

    Accepted by

    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Good in Journal of Botany 65, Suppl. 2: 41 (1927).

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    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