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  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Ruellia Plum. ex L.
      1. Ruellia beniana J.R.I.Wood

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Bolivia.

    [KBu]

    Wood, J.R.I. 2012. Kew Bulletin 67: 257. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-012-9352-x

    Habit
    Isophyllous undershrub to 1.4 m; stems woody, branched, ± quadrangular, glabrous, brown, becoming ferruginous on younger parts
    Leaves
    Leaves petiolate; petioles 0.5 – 1.3 cm long, glabrous; lamina 7 – 13 × 2 – 4.5 cm, narrowly ovate to oblong-ovate, attenuate at the base, margin entire, obscurely undulate, apex acuminate to an obtuse point, glabrous and dotted with ferruginous glands on both surfaces, adaxial surface densely covered in cystoliths, abaxial surface much paler, the veins prominent, ferruginous, the midrib thinly pilose when very young (Fig. 2B) but soon glabrescent
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences terminal, of 1 – 2 flowers in the uppermost leaf axils; bracts resembling leaves but smaller, 4 – 6 × 1.5 – 2.5 cm, subsessile and more abruptly narrowed at base; bracteoles 2 × 2 mm, triangular, perhaps caducous, calyx 6 – 7 mm long, densely gland-dotted, puberulent, subequally 5-lobed to c. 3 mm above the base, the lobes 4 × 1.5 mm, lanceolate, obtuse; corolla 8 – 9 cm long, funnel-shaped, pale blue, glabrous, basal cylindrical part 1.3 – 1.8 × 0.2 – 0.3 cm, then gradually widened to c. 2.5 cm at mouth, lobes subequal, ovate, 2 – 2.5 × 2 cm; stamens 4, didynamous, glabrous, inserted in the upper part of the cylindrical basal tube, shorter inner filaments 4 mm, longer outer filaments 12 – 13 mm, crossing diagonally in corolla examined (Fig. 2F), anthers 6 × 1 mm, oblong; pollen spheroidal; style 4.5 cm long, shortly pilose; stigma simple, clavate; ovary c. 5 mm long, narrowly oblong-ovoid, acuminate, gland-dotted
    Fruits
    Capsules 3 × 0.9 cm, oblong, glabrous; seeds not seen
    Distribution
    Only known from the type locality in the Andean foothills in northern Bolivia. Map 1.
    Ecology
    In ‘cerrado’-type vegetation with Qualea multiflora Mart. and Pseudobombaxlongiflorum (Mart. & Zucc.) A. Robyns on a steep mountain slope.
    Conservation
    Ruellia beniana has not been formally categorised. It is clearly a very rare plant known only from a single collection but systematic searches for it have not been made. It is probably best to categorise it, therefore as IUCN category (2001) DD (Data Deficient). However, Rurrenabaque is a relatively well-known area botanically and efforts to refind it by Alfredo Fuentes have been in vain so it is unlikely that there are extensive undiscovered populations in the vicinity. Although the habitat is not particularly vulnerable the very small size of the population suggests that an IUCN categorisation of CR (Critically Endangered) may eventually be assigned.
    Note

    Ruellia beniana is named after the Departamento de Beni. The type locality, Rurrenabaque, is situated within this Departamento along the Río Beni.

    Ruellia beniana is only known from the type collection. It is probably most closely related to other species with foliose bracts such as R. tarapotana Lindau but can be distinguished by its much larger corolla, which reaches 9 cm, its relatively short corolla tube, which is only about a quarter the total length of the corolla and the short calyx, up to 7 mm long, with obtuse rather than acuminate lobes. In habit and form of inflorescence it resembles several other shrubby species of Ruellia with blue flowers, notably R. spectabilis from Peru, R. pacifica from Ecuador and Peru and forms of the Brazilian R. macrantha (Nees) Gower that lack a spicate inflorescence. R. beniana is more robust than the first two with the corolla c. 9 cm in length as opposed to c. 6 cm and the leaves are also larger. Additionally, the leaves are almost completely glabrous (a few hairs are present on the abaxial midrib of very young leaves) and the calyx is much shorter, the lobes scarcely longer than the basal part, lanceolate and apically obtuse, rather than long-attenuate. A notable feature of R. beniana is the abundance of conspicuous ferruginous gland-dots on all vegetative parts including the calyx and even the ovary. These provide the characteristic red-brown colour of the young stems and leaf veins. Although these glands are also present in specimens of R. pacifica they are much fewer in number. Glands are absent under normal magnification from R. tarapotana, R. spectabilis and R. macrantha. Although the corolla of R. beniana is similar in size to that of R. macrantha it is not resupinate and is quite glabrous, the two species not being closely related. None of the species with which R. beniana has been compared above occur in Bolivia, the record of R. tarapotana by Zurita et al. 84 in Tropicos (www. tropicos.org) being probably an error for Ruelliayurimaguensis Lindau.

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Bolivia

    Other Data

    Ruellia beniana J.R.I.Wood appears in other Kew resources:

    Bibliography

    First published in Kew Bull. 67: 259 (2012)

    Accepted by

    • Jørgensen, P.M., Nee, M.H. & Beck., S.G. (eds.) (2013). Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 127: 1-1741. Missouri Botanical Garden.

    Literature

    Kew Bulletin

    • Wood, J. R. I. (ed.) (2011). Guia Darwin de las Plantas de loscerrados de la Chiquitania. Museo de Historia Natural ‘Noel Kempff Mercado’, Santa Cruz.Google Scholar
    • Mamani, F., Pozo, P., Soto, D., Villarroel, D. & Wood, J. R. I. (ed.) (2010). Libro Rojo de las Plantas de losCerrados del Oriente Boliviano. Museo de Historia Natural ‘Noel Kempff Mercado’, Santa Cruz.Google Scholar
    • Wood, J. R. I. (2010). Further notes on Bolivian Justicia L. Kew Bull. 65: 77 – 81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    • Schmidt-Lebuhn, A. & Tripp, E. A. (2009). Ruelliasaccata, a new species of Acanthaceae from Bolivia. Novon 19 (4): 515 – 519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    • McDade, L. A., Daniel, T. F., Kiel, C. A. & Vollesen, K. (2005). Phylogenetic Relationships among Acantheae (Acanthaceae): Major Lineages Present Contrasting Patterns of Molecular Evolution and Morphological Differentiation. Syst. Bot. 30(4): 834 – 862.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    • Wasshausen, D. C. & Wood, J. R. I. (2004). Acanthaceae of Bolivia. Contrib. U.S. Natl. Herb. 49: 1 – 152.Google Scholar
    • IUCN (2001). Red List categories and Criteria, Version 3.1. Prepared by the IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge.Google Scholar
    • Wasshausen, D. C. (1999). Acanthaceae. In: P. M. Jørgensen & S. León-Yánez (eds), Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St Louis.Google Scholar
    • Dubs, B. (1998). Prodromus Florae Matogrossensis. Betrona Verlag, Küsnacht.Google Scholar
    • Wasshausen, D. C. (1997). New species, new variety and new combinations in Stenandrium (Acanthaceae) from Ecuador and Colombia. Nordic J. Bot. 16 (4): 383 – 388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Jørgensen, P.M., Nee, M.H. & Beck., S.G. (eds.) (2013). Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 127: 1-1741. Missouri Botanical Garden.

    Sources

    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 Bulletin
    Kew Bulletin
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/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