Skip to main content
  1. Family: Acanthaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Barleria L.
      1. Barleria mutabilis I.Darbysh.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is E. Tanzania to N. Mozambique.


    Flora Zambesiaca Acanthaceae (part 2) by Iain Darbyshire, Kaj Vollesen and Ensermu Kelbessa

    Perennial herb or shrub 50–150 cm tall; stems with dense buff-yellow to golden long-armed stellate hairs, arm typically 1–2 mm long, stellate base sometimes falling early, young stems with few to numerous spreading glandular hairs or these absent.
    Leaves ovate or elliptic, 3.3–13.5 × 1.4–6 cm, base attenuate or cuneate to obtuse or rounded, apex acute, subattenuate or obtuse, surfaces with long-armed stellate hairs as on stems, stellate base sometimes falling early particularly above, margin of young leaves sometimes with spreading glandular hairs; lateral veins 4–5 pairs, prominent beneath; petiole 2–12 mm long.
    Inflorescences axillary towards stem apex, sometimes together forming a loose thyrse, each cyme contracted, (2)3–12-flowered, unilateral or often branching at maturity; bracteole pairs spreading and often deflexed, linear, narrowly elliptic or oblanceolate, 5–20 × 0.8–4.5 mm, margin entire or minutely toothed, apex mucronate; pedicels 0–2.5 mm long.
    Calyx papery, at first bluish or purple-tinged with darker reticulate venation, soon pale-scarious; anterior lobe obovate, elliptic or (in our region) ovate-orbicular, 8–21.5 × 4.5–19.5 mm, base cuneate to truncate or rounded, margin subentire or denticulate, apex rounded to attenuate or emarginate, indumentum as leaves, glandular hairs mainly on margins and apex or absent; posterior lobe slightly larger, apex obtuse to attenuate, mucronulate; lateral lobes (ovate)lanceolate, 6.5–12.5 mm long.
    Corolla 26.5–46.5 mm long, pale blue or lilac to purple, glandular-pilose externally; tube cylindrical, 17–23 mm long, curved below attachment point of stamens; limb in 2+3 arrangement; abaxial lobe 12–18.5 × 9–14 mm; lateral lobes 14–19.5 × 10–14.5 mm; adaxial lobes 8–14.5 × 7–11 mm.
    Stamens attached 10–16 mm from base of corolla tube; filaments 12–16 mm long; anthers 3–5.2 mm long; lateral staminodes 1.2–3.5 mm long, pilose and with minute stalked glands, antherodes barely developed or to 0.8 mm long.
    Ovary with an apical tuft of short hairs, sometimes with a few pale hairs towards apex; style pubescent towards base; stigma clavate, 0.7–1.5 mm long.
    Capsule 13–16.5 mm long, sparsely pilose towards apex or with an apical tuft of hairs only.
    Seeds 4–5.5 × 3.8–4.5 mm.
    Also in E Tanzania.
    Riverine dry forest, in Tanzania recorded from low altitude woodland and wooded grassland; c.1000 m.
    Conservation notes: Scarce and known from only two specimens within the Flora area; originally assessed as Least Concern by Darbyshire (2010) (under B. fulvostellata subsp. scariosa).



    Native to:

    Mozambique, Tanzania


    Other Data

    Barleria mutabilis I.Darbysh. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Vollesen, K. [4617], Tanzania Barleria fulvostellata subsp. scariosa K000779564 isotype


    First published in Fl. Zambes. 8(6): 65 (2015)

    Accepted by

    • Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2015). Flora Zambesiaca 8(6): 1-314. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    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.