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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Africa, Arabian Peninsula, E. Himalaya to China and Indo-China.
Phaulopsis dorsiflora


Acanthaceae (part 2), Kaj Vollesen. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2008

Morphology General Habit
Annual or perennial herbs; cystoliths conspicuous; stems quadrangular
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite, often anisophyllous entire to crenate Leaves elliptic or narrowly so, largest 5–12 × 1.2–3 cm, usually more than three times as long as wide, apex acute or subacute, base cuneate to attenuate, decurrent to the stem or with petiole to 4(–8) mm long, subglabrous to pubescent-pilose with long (to 2 mm) glossy hairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers in few- to many-flowered dichasia or monochasia condensed into into terminal and axillary densely strobilate or interrupted dorsiventral inflorescences with flowers on one side only (rarely solitary in leaf-axils); main axis bracts foliaceous, cyme bracts bracteate; bracteoles small
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx deeply divided into 5 sepals, 2 ventral sepals often fused slightly higher; dorsal sepal ovate-oblong, much larger than and covering the other four. Corolla contorted in bud, finely puberulous and sometimes also glandular on the outside; basal part of tube cylindric, widening into a more or less distinct throat; limb distinctly 2-lipped, lobes subequal; palate on lower lip without or with few to many retrorse hairs Calyx 9–13 mm long of which the basal tube 1–2 mm, ciliate on edges and veins with thin hairs to 3 mm long and with dense glands to 2 mm long; dorsal lobe elliptic, 3–5 mm wide, subacute to rounded; ventral lobes linear to oblanceolate, same length or to 2 mm shorter than dorsal; lateral lobes linear, 2–3 mm shorter than ventral
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 4, didynamous, inserted dorsally in throat, more or less exserted or included in throat, tube and base of filaments glabrous at point of insertion, each long and short filament fused at the base and fused part running like two glabrous ridges to base of tube; anthers 2-thecous, oblong, thecae subequal, rounded apically, at base without or with minute spurs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 2-locular, 4-ovulate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style hairy in basal part.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigma lobes unequal, linear, flattened
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 4-seeded, ovoid, glandular towards apex, placentae at maturity separating elastically from fruit wall; retinaculae strong, hook-like Capsule 7–8.5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed discoid, densely covered with hygroscopic hairs. Seed 2–3 mm in diameter
Type: Angola, Gambos, Newton s.n. (K!, lecto.; selected by Manktelow) Perennial herb with one to several erect to decumbent stems from woody rootstock; stems to 1 m long, never rooting at nodes, when young puberulous to pubescent and sometimes with scattered glands
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences terminal only or terminal and lateral, ovoid to ellipsoid, 2–7 cm long; axis with long thin hairs and dense glands; axis bracts to 4 cm long, smaller upwards, with dense (rarely sparse or absent) capitate glands; cyme bracts pale green, sometimes with dark edge or flushed with purple, ovate or elliptic to orbicular, 7–14 × 5–10 mm, acute to rounded, densely (rarely sparsely) glandular
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla white with orange and mauve patches on callus of throat, 15–19 mm long; cylindric part of tube 5–7.5 mm long; throat conspicuously widened, 5–6 mm long and 6–7 mm in diameter at apex; lips 4–6 mm long, lobes oblong-obovate, 2–4 mm long, rounded to retuse; lower lip with many retrorse hairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments with scattered short hairs; anthers protruding, ± 1.5 mm long, with distinct spurs
Fig 39: 8, p259
Range: 22 species, mostly in tropical Africa, three species in Madagascar and the Mascarenes one of which also in SE Asia, one species introduced to central and S America.

Native to:

Andaman Is., Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Central African Repu, Chad, China South-Central, Comoros, Congo, East Himalaya, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Réunion, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Colombia, Jamaica

Phaulopsis Willd. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Sp. Pl., ed. 4, 3: 342 (1800)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. Scientific Data 8: 215.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • F.T.A. 5: 82 (1899)
  • G.P. 2: 1081 (1876)
  • Nat. Pflanzenfam., Nachtr. Zu II-IV, 1: 305 (1897)
  • Sp. Pl. 3: 342 (1800), as Phaylopsis, corr. Sprengel, Anleit., ed. 2, 2: 422 (1817), nom. et orth. cons.
  • Symb. Bot. Ups. 31(2): 78 (1996)

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. 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 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.