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This species is accepted, and its native range is S. DR Congo to Zambia.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[KBu]

Darbyshire, I. (2008). A reassessment of Barleria sect. Cavirostrata (Acanthaceae) in tropical Africa, with a new species, B. richardsiae, described from the Tanzania–Zambia border region. Kew Bulletin 63: 601. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-008-9081-3

Conservation
Barleria descampsii is locally frequent in the miombo woodlands of northern Zambia and southern Congo, and is represented by numerous herbarium collections despite rather limited botanical exploration in this region. Its favoured habitat remains widespread, and has limited agricultural potential particularly in areas where it grows on rocky hillslopes, though increased local human populations may have resulted in conversion of some areas of woodland to shamba agriculture. It is not considered threatened and is assessed as of Least Concern (LC) under the IUCN (2001) criteria.
Distribution
S Congo-Kinshasa; N Zambia (Flora Zambesiaca regions N, W).
Ecology
Barleria descampsii is recorded from very similar habitats to B. richardsiae, being found in miombo (Brachystegia, Julbernardia and/or Uapaca) woodland often on dry, rocky slopes at 1200 – 1850 m alt. It appears tolerant of some disturbance, sometimes being recorded from open, secondary woodland and thicket or along roadsides. The western part of its range coincides with the Copperbelt (Robyns 1932), where it is likely to be tolerant of high metaliferous soil content. The lack of records to date from SW Tanzania, despite its relative abundance in the adjacent Mbala District of Zambia, is unusual as the two areas usually share a similar flora. This distribution pattern is not, however, unknown in the Acanthaceae; for example, the striking Crossandra sulphurea G. Taylor is well known from the Mbala region but is yet to be recorded from Tanzania (K. Vollesen, pers. comm.).
Note
Barleria descampsii as delimited here is a rather variable taxon, particularly in terms of indumentum colour, leaf shape and calyx size and shape. Each of these characters can vary independently of one another, resulting in a number of regional forms that are inter-related to, and not consistently separable from, one another. Plants from the Mbala District of Zambia in the northeastern extreme of its range (e.g. Richards 11085), are rather striking in having a golden indumentum to the stems and calyx, populations from further west tending to have a more buff or silvery indumentum. The Mbala plants tend to have rather narrow, often lanceolate, leaves and the calyx lobes are at the higher end of the size range for this species, whilst plants from further west often have ± broadly ovate leaves and smaller calyces.
Type
Congo-Kinshasa, Mt Pueto, Descamps s.n. (lectotype BR!, selected here, photo. K!).

[FZ]

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

Morphology General Habit
Suffruticose perennial 40–100 cm tall; stems with dense ascending or appressed golden to silvery long-armed stellate hairs.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves ovate, elliptic or lanceolate, 5.5–12 × 2–5 cm, base cuneate to obtuse or attenuate, margin somewhat revolute, apex acute or attenuate, sometimes rounded in lower leaves, upper surface with few to numerous long-armed stellate hairs, stellate base sometimes falling early, lower surface with ± dense fine whitish long-armed stellate hairs and coarser, buff or golden long-armed stellate hairs on nerves and margins; lateral nerves 4–6 pairs; petiole 0–10 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence congested, elongate to subcapitate, rarely more lax and thyrsoid, 1.5–10 cm long, each cymule single-flowered; bracts foliaceous, much-reduced upwards, those in upper axils elliptic to obovate, 11–18 × 3–9 mm; bracteoles oblanceolate, elliptic or linear, (7.5)11–18 × 1.5–7 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Anterior calyx lobe oblong to obovate or elliptic, (11.5)16.5–20.5(25) × (4)8.5–13.5 mm, base cuneate, apex rounded, truncate or notched for to 1 mm, surface densely covered in ascending golden to silvery long-armed stellate hairs, venation (sub)parallel, obscured by indumentum; posterior lobe (13)18.5–25 × (4)7–10 mm, apex obtuse or rounded; lateral lobes lanceolate, (7)8.5–15 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 40–53 mm long, mauve or lilac with whitish tube, whole flower rarely white, shortly glandular-pubescent externally; tube cylindrical, 20–24.5 mm long; lobes 17–28 mm long, abaxial lobe 10–11.5 mm wide, lateral lobes to 10.5–13.5 mm, adaxial lobes to 7–10.5 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens attached c.8 mm from base of corolla tube; filaments c.23 mm long, with few minute short-stalked glands at base; anthers 6.5–8.5 mm long; lateral staminodes 1.2–3.5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary densely pubescent in distal half; style pubescent towards base; stigma 0.5–1 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 15–18 mm long including beak 4–5.5 mm long, pubescent in distal half.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds black, subellipsoid to subglobose, 3–4 × 3–3.2 mm.
Distribution
Also in southern D.R. Congo.
Ecology
Miombo woodland, open wooded grassland, often on rocky hillslopes and by roadsides; 1200–1850 m.
Conservation
Conservation notes: Assessed as Least Concern by Darbyshire (2009), and rather common across its range.

Native to:

Zambia, Zaïre

Barleria descampsii Lindau appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Oct 1, 2009 Parmentier [4618] K000191324
Apr 19, 1938 Kassner [2619], Congo, DRC K000394478 Unknown type material

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 34: 318 (1904)

Accepted by

  • Darbyshire, I. (2008 publ. 2009). A reassessment of the status of Barleria sect. Cavirostrata (Acanthaceae) in tropical Africa, with a new species, B. richardsiae described from the Tanzania-Zambia border region Kew Bulletin 63: 601-611. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2015). Flora Zambesiaca 8(6): 1-314. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.

Literature

Flora Zambesiaca

  • in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 318 (1897).
  • —Clarke in F.T.A. 5: 169 (1899).
  • —Darbyshire in Kew Bull. 63: 610 (2009).
  • —Phiri, Checklist Zamb. Vasc. Pl.: 18 (2005) as deschampsii.

Kew Backbone Distributions

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

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. 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 2021. 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