Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Metachlamydeae: Lamiales

Acanthaceae - Barleria family

Balkwill, K. & Welman, W.G. (2000) Acanthaceae. In Leistner, O.A. Seed plants of southern Africa: families and genera. Strelitzia 10 34-45

Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2010) Acanthaceae (Part 2) Flora of Tropical East Africa Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2015) Acanthaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 8(6)

Leistner, O.A. (2005) Seed plants of southern tropical Africa: families and genera SABONET Report No. 26 SABONET, Pretoria

Vollesen, K. (2009) Acanthaceae (Part 1) Flora of Tropical East Africa

Vollesen, K. (2013) Acanthaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 8(5)

Description of the family

Small trees, herbs, shrubs or sometimes climbers. Stipules 0. Leaves opposite, usually entire, less often toothed. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic or zygomorphic. Bracts and bracteoles usually present. Calyx 4-5-partite, rarely 2-lipped or with 10-18 teeth (Thunbergia). Corolla gamopetalous, 1-2-lipped or 5-lobed. Stamens 2 or 4, inserted on corolla. Anthers 1- or 2-thecous, with thecae together or one above the other. Ovary superior, 2-locular with (1-)2(-3 or more) ovules in each loculus. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, often explosively dehiscent.

Comment: This large family with attractive and colourful flowers always catches one's eye in the field. For many years, up-to-date information was hard to come by; however, recently both parts of Flora Zambesiaca have come out and information about the family is now available.

Worldwide: 229 genera and 3450 species, mostly tropical.

Zimbabwe: 27 cultivated genera and 57 cultivated taxa.

Hypoestes phyllostachya

Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Acanthus L.Description, Image
Anisacanthus Nees
Aphelandra R. Br.Description
Asystasia BlumeDescription
Barleria L.Description
Brillantaisia P. Beauv.Description, Image
Crossandra Salisb.Description
Dicliptera Juss.Description
Dyschoriste NeesDescription, Image
Eranthemum L.Description
Graptophyllum NeesDescription
Hypoestes Sol. ex R.Br.Description
Justicia L.Description, Image
Mackaya Harv.Description, Image
Megaskepasma LindauDescription, Image
Odontonema NeesDescription, Image
Pachystachys NeesDescription, Image
Petalidium NeesDescription
Pseuderanthemum Radlk.Description, Image
Ruellia L.Description
Ruspolia LindauDescription
Ruttya Harv.Description, Image
Sanchezia Ruiz. & Pav.Description
Strobilanthes BlumeDescription, Image
Thunbergia Retz.Description, Image
Whitfieldia Hook.Description, Image
x Ruttyruspolia A. Meeuse & De WetDescription, Image

Other sources of information about Acanthaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Acanthaceae
Flora of Caprivi: Acanthaceae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Acanthaceae
Flora of Malawi: Acanthaceae
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Acanthaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Acanthaceae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Acanthaceae
Flora of Zambia: Acanthaceae
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Acanthaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Acanthaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Acanthaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Acanthaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Acanthaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Acanthaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Acanthaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Acanthaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Acanthaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Acanthaceae
Wikipedia: Acanthaceae
Plants of the World Online: Acanthaceae
Tropicos: Acanthaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Acanthaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=1, retrieved 2 December 2023

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