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  1. Family: Rubiaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Spermacoce L.
      1. Spermacoce dibrachiata Oliv.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tanzania to Angola.

    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Annual or perhaps biennial very variable herb 6–75 cm. tall, with simple or sparsely branched stems covered with dense to sparse spreading often asperous hairs and shorter hairs within the longitudinal grooves between the longitudinal ribs; the basal internodes are often reduced giving the appearance of a rosette of leaves.
    Leaves
    Leaf-blades lanceolate, 4.5–12 cm. long, 0.35–1.5(–2.8) cm. wide, acute at the apex, narrowed at the base into the stipule-sheath, with long hairs on both surfaces or only on the midrib or glabrous except for the ± scabrid margins; stipules hairy, base 7–9 mm. long, 4.5 mm. wide at normal nodes, 0.8–2 cm. wide at the apical inflorescence-supporting node; fimbriae ± 5, 3–8 mm. long at lower nodes, 8–11, 2 mm. long at apical node.
    Flowers
    Flowers in very dense mostly many-flowered apical heads, closely subtended by 2–4 leafy bracts, the heads varying greatly in size, 1–2.5 cm. wide; bracteoles linear, 5–7 mm. long, joined at the base, colourless, glabrous beneath, greenish and ciliate above; rarely an inflorescence at node below the apical one.
    Calyx
    Calyx-tube obconic or ellipsoid, 1.7–5 mm. long, 2.8 mm. wide, glabrous; free limb 0.7–1.5 mm. long; lobes 4, linear-lanceolate, 3–5.5 mm. long, 0.8–1.8 mm. wide at base but strongly tapering, margins and sinuses scabridulous; some small intermediate lobes may also be present.
    Corolla
    Corolla blue or violet-blue or with white tube and blue to violet limb with a white eye; tube filiform-cylindrical, 1–2.1 cm. long; lobes oblong-elliptic, 2.5–6 mm. long, 1.5–3 mm. wide, with a few hairs at the apex outside.
    Filaments
    Filaments exserted 2–4 mm.
    Pistil
    Style exserted 2–4.5 mm.; stigma capitate, 1 mm. wide, slightly bifid, the lobes ± 0.6 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Capsule straw-coloured with numerous red longitudinal streak-like marks, 3.5 mm. long, 3 mm. wide, 1.3 mm. thick, glabrous.
    Seeds
    Seeds dark brown, ellipsoid, 2.6 mm. long, 1.3 mm. wide, 0.95 mm. thick, finely reticulate and rugulose, with a ventral narrow groove which widens at base and apex.
    Figures
    Fig. 51/30, p. 344.
    Habitat
    Grassland, grassland with scattered shrubs, grassy clearings in Brachystegia, Combretum woodland, also by marshes and in cultivations; 840–2250 m.
    Distribution
    T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8
    [FZ]

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

    Habit
    Annual or sometimes biennial or perennial very variable herb 6–90 cm. tall, with simple or sparsely branched stems covered with dense to sparse spreading often asperous hairs with tubercular bases and shorter hairs within the longitudinal grooves between the longitudinal ribs; the basal internodes are often reduced giving the appearance of a rosette of leaves; rootstock often swollen, particularly at stem junction.
    Leaves
    Leaf blades 4.5–12 x 0.35–1.5(2.8) cm., lanceolate, acute at the apex, narrowed at the base into the stipule sheath, with long hairs on both surfaces or only on the midrib or glabrous except for the ± scabrid margins; stipules hairy, base 7–9 x 4.5 mm. at normal nodes, 0.8–2 cm. wide at the apical inflorescence-supporting node; fimbriae c. 5,3–8 mm. long at lower nodes, 8–11,2 mm. long at apical node.
    Flowers
    Flowers in very dense mostly many-flowered apical heads, closely subtended by 2–4 leafy bracts, the heads varying greatly in size, 1–2.5 cm. wide; bracteoles linear, 5–7 mm. long, joined at the base, colourless, glabrous beneath, greenish and ciliate above; rarely an inflorescence at node below the apical one.
    Calyx
    Calyx tube 1.7–5 x 2.8 mm., obconic or ellipsoid, glabrous; free limb 0.7–1.5 mm. long; lobes 4, 3–5.5 x 0.8–1.8 mm. at base but strongly tapering, linear-lanceolate, margins and sinuses scabridulous; some small intermediate lobes may also be present.
    Corolla
    Corolla blue or violet-blue or with white tube and blue to violet limb with a white eye; tube (0.8) 1 -2.3 cm. long, filiform-cylindrical; lobes 2.5–6 x 1.5–3 mm., oblong-elliptic, with a few hairs at the apex outside.
    Filaments
    Filaments exserted 2–4 mm.
    Pistil
    Style exserted 2–4.5 mm.; stigma capitate, 1 mm. wide, slightly bifid, the lobes c. 0.6 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Capsule straw-coloured with numerous red longitudinal streak-like marks, 3.5 x 3 x 1.3 mm., glabrous.
    Seeds
    Seeds dark brown, 2.6 x 1.3 x 0.95 mm., ellipsoid, finely reticulate and rugulose, with a ventral narrow groove which widens at base and apex.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Spermacoce dibrachiata Oliv. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Carson [40], Zambia K000173032 holotype
    Speke [439], Tanzania K000173016 holotype
    Milne-Redhead, E. [8046], Tanzania Borreria dibrachiata 31153.000

    Bibliography

    First published in Trans. Linn. Soc. London 29: 87 (1873)

    Accepted by

    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34: 1-199.
    • Calane da Silva, M., Izdine, S. & Amuse, A.B. (2004). A Preliminary Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Mozambique: 1-184. SABONET, 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

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Hiern in Flora of Tropical Africa 3: 239 (1877).
    • Oliv. in Trans. Linn. Soc. 29: 87, t. 52 (1873).

    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