Blepharis maderaspatensis (L.) Roth

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Blepharis maderaspatensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Pokoteke Gorge, near Masvingo

Blepharis maderaspatensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Ngomakurira, Chinhamora CL.

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Synonyms: Acanthus maderaspatensis L.
Blepharis abyssinica Hochst.
Blepharis boerhaviifolia Pers.
Blepharis boerhaviifolia Pers. var. micrantha Sond.
Blepharis boerhaviifolia Pers. var. nigrovenulosa De Wild. & T. Durand
Blepharis gueinzii T. Anderson
Blepharis maderaspatanus (L.) Roth var. abyssinica (Hochst.) Fiori, Boschi & Piante
Blepharis maderaspatensis (L.) Roth subsp. rubiifolia (Schum.) Napper
Blepharis teaguei Oberm.
Common names:
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Procumbent or scrambling perennial or rarely annual herb. Stems up to 2.5 m long, sometimes rooting at the nodes, often finely hairy. Leaves ovate, elliptic or slightly obovate, 2-10 cm long, more or less hairy, particularly along the veins, often greyish below; margin entire or with a few scattered teeth. Flowers solitary or in clusters of up to 15 flowers. Bracts greenish-brown, sometimes with purple veins, elliptic-obovate to almost round, puberescent to almost hairless, ending in a recurved bristle with 4-10 barbed bristles, up to 7 mm long, on each side of the margin. Corolla white or cream, with mauve or purple veins, 10-27 mm long; lip oblong-obovate, 4-13 mm wide, lobes more or less of same length, central lobe narrower than side lobes.
Notes: The two subspp., subsp. maderaspatensis and subsp. rubiifolia (Schumach.) Napper, are no longer recognised as suggested by Vollesen.
Derivation of specific name: maderaspatensis: from the Madras region of India
Habitat: In a wide variety of grassland, shrub and woodland habitats, often in secondary and disturbed areas.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1500 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, South Africa, Madagascar and extending to Asia
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Monday 2 November 2015

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 6.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 18.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 326. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 13. as subsp maderaspatensis and subsp. rubiifolia

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 18.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 14. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 17.

Vollesen, K. (2000). Blepharis (Acanthaceae). A taxonomic revision. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Pages 198 - 206. (Includes a picture).

Vollesen, K. (2013). Acanthaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 8(5) Pages 74 - 76. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Blepharis maderaspatensis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Blepharis maderaspatensis
Flora of Caprivi: Blepharis maderaspatensis
Flora of Malawi: Blepharis maderaspatensis
Flora of Mozambique: Blepharis maderaspatensis
Flora of Zambia: Blepharis maderaspatensis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Blepharis maderaspatensis
African Plant Database: Blepharis maderaspatensis
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Blepharis maderaspatensis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Blepharis maderaspatensis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Blepharis maderaspatensis
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Blepharis maderaspatensis
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Blepharis maderaspatensis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Blepharis maderaspatensis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Blepharis maderaspatensis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Blepharis maderaspatensis
Ispot Southern Africa: Blepharis maderaspatensis
JSTOR Plant Science: Blepharis maderaspatensis
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Blepharis maderaspatensis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Blepharis maderaspatensis
The Plant List (version 1.1): Blepharis maderaspatensis
Tropicos: Blepharis maderaspatensis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Blepharis maderaspatensis., retrieved 23 April 2018

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