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This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Tropical Africa to Angola.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[KBu]

Darbyshire, I., Tripp, E.A. & Chase, F.M. (2019). A taxonomic revision of Acanthaceae tribe Barlerieae in Angola and Namibia. Part 1. Kew Bulletin 74: 5. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-018-9791-0

Conservation
Barleria villosa is a widespread species of the Guineo-Congolian region; whilst the EOO has not been fully delimited it is estimated to be in excess of 3 million km2. Habitat loss will have resulted in some localised population declines, but this species is not considered to be globally threatened, and is assessed as of Least Concern — LC.
Distribution
Angola (Cabinda, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Malange and Uíge Provinces.); widespread in West Africa: Guinée, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, D. R. Congo.
Ecology
Barleria villosa is recorded from shaded habitats including riverine forest and thicket, particularly along margins and in adjacent grassland, in dry forest and in secondary woodland; c. 200 – 900 m elevation. It is a species of the Guineo-Congolian Regional Centre of Endemism (White 1983).
Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb or subshurb, erect or scrambling, up to 2 m tall; stems pubescent to villose with pale-buff or grey-brown hairs of variable length, ascending or subspreading, sometimes most dense on two opposite sides
Morphology Leaves
Leaves on petiole 7 – 43 mm long or uppermost leaves subsessile; blade ovate or ovate-elliptic, 3 – 9 × 1.5 – 4 cm, base attenuate or that of uppermost leaves rounded, margin entire, apex attenuate, acuminate or acute, surfaces pubescent, most dense beneath, hairs along the main veins beneath longer and more appressed, hairs mainly pale grey-buff but can be glossy brown especially when young; lateral veins 5 – 7 pairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens inserted 8 – 10.5 mm from base of corolla; filaments 19 – 27 mm long; anthers 2.5 – 3 mm long; lateral staminodes 1 – 2.2 mm long, pubescent, with ± well developed antherodes 0.6 – 1.1 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx drying green-brown, anterior lobe lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, 12 – 17 × 4.5 – 6 mm, base cuneate, margin entire, apex deeply bifid for 3 – 6.5 mm with slender lobes, surface densely pubescent with silky ascending pale buff to yellow-buff hairs, sometimes with few interspersed short glandular hairs mainly towards base; posterior lobe like anterior lobe but ovate-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, apex acute; lateral lobes linear-lanceolate, 6 – 10.5 (– 15.5 mm) long, usually with few glandular hairs towards apex
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla blue or lilac, 35 – 42 mm long, pubescent to pilose externally with mixed glandular and eglandular hairs; tube 15 – 23 mm long, basal cylindrical portion 8 – 11 mm long, upper portion markedly funnel-shaped; limb in “4+1” configuration, abaxial lobe offset by 5 – 7 mm, (oblong-) obovate, 12.5 – 14 × 6 – 9 mm, apex rounded or shallowly emarginate; lateral lobes as abaxial lobe but 9.5 – 13.5 × 5.5 – 7.5 mm; adaxial lobes 9 – 12.5 × 3.5 – 5.5 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Pistil glabrous; stigma clavate or subcapitate, (0.35 –) 0.5 – 0.9 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 2-seeded, ± 12.5 mm long, glabrous; only immature seeds seen.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences crowded terminal spikes 3 – 9 (– 19) cm long, comprising a series of 1 – 3-flowered subsessile cymes, flowers sometimes held mainly on one side of spike, lowermost cymes sometimes becoming less crowded; bracts foliaceous, elliptic, typically 10 – 22 × 4 – 9 mm at midpoint of spike, densely pubescent with buff to brown hairs, sometimes appearing silky; bracteoles held erect, oblanceolate to spathulate, 7 – 15 × 1 – 2.5 mm, apex acute to obtuse, margin entire, indumentum as in bracts, with or without interspersed short glandular hairs
Note
Some populations of Barleria villosa from West Africa, notably in Nigeria and West Cameroon (e.g. Coombe 61; Cheek 9826, both K!), are larger in all their floral parts, with bracteoles over 20 × 3.5 mm, outer calyx lobes over 20 mm long and often proportionally broader, and corollas over 45 mm long. Heine (1963) suggests that the calyces of this species are rapidly accrescent after anthesis and that the Welwitsch type specimens from Angola are very young and so have much smaller calyx lobes than usual. However, examination of further material from Angola and adjacent D. R. Congo indicates that this is not true, but rather the specimens in the southern part of the range of B. villosa have consistently smaller floral parts even after anthesis. Small-flowered forms of B. villosa also occur in other parts of its range, for example in the Central African Republic. The description above covers only the variation recorded in Angola and adjacent D. R. Congo. Barleria villosa falls within the B. ventricosa Nees complex and, together with the closely related B. opaca Nees, represents the West African element of this challenging group. It could easily be sunk into the B. ventricosa aggregate species (see Darbyshire 2010b) but we are reluctant to do so until detailed molecular work is carried out on this group. Although rather variable, B. villosa is recognised by consistently having a crowded spiciform terminal inflorescence, a rather dense inflorescence indumentum, relatively long and erect bracteoles and a deeply bifid anterior calyx lobe. In B. ventricosa s.l., this approaches the form from northern Uganda, northeast D.R. Congo and South Sudan sometimes separated as B. vix-dentata C. B. Clarke (see Darbyshire 2010b). However, B. villosa has a more dense indumentum. Barleria vix-dentata could potentially represent an intermediate form between B. villosa in the West and B. ventricosa in the East, but molecular work would be needed to investigate this hypothesis. The Angolan populations of B. villosa can also superficially resemble the form of B. ventricosa sometimes separated as B. keniensis Mildbr., widespread in East Africa, which can have a densely hairy, congested compound inflorescence, but it differs from B. villosa in having an entire or minutely notched apex to the anterior calyx lobe and in having shorter, often minute, bracteoles (Darbyshire 2010b).
Type
Angola, Pungo Andongo, Golungo Alto, “Queta orientalis”, fl. June 1856, Welwitsch 5071 (lectotype BM! [BM000931106], selected here; isolectotypes K! [K000394497], LISU! [LISU223415]). Additional original syntype: Angola, “Dist. Golungo Alto, edit. Sobati de Quilombo”, fl. July 1856, Welwitsch 5070 (BM! [BM001252127], K! [K000394496], LISU! [LISU223416]).

[FWTA]

Acanthaceae, H. Heine. Flora of West Tropical Africa 2. 1963

Morphology General Habit
A woody climbing shrub with villous stems and foliage
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Blue-purple flowers 11/2 in. long.

Native to:

Angola, Cabinda, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Togo

Barleria villosa S.Moore appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Mar 19, 1897 Welwitsch [5070], Angola K000394496
Mar 19, 1897 Welwitsch [5071], Angola K000394497
Hepper, F.N. [1578], Nigeria 13059.000
Dawe, M.T. [112], Angola K001009477
Gossweiler, J. [1078], Angola K001009478

First published in J. Bot. 18: 267 (1880)

Accepted by

  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(1): 1-85. ORSTROM, Bangui.
  • Darbyshire, I., Tripp, E.A. & Chase, F.M. (2019). A taxonomic revision of Acanthaceae tribe Barlerieae in Angola and Namibia. Part 1 Kew Bulletin 74(5): 1-85. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.
  • Onana, J.M. (2011). The vascular plants of Cameroon a taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments: 1-195. National herbarium of Cameroon, Yaoundé.

Literature

Kew Bulletin

  • Clarke, C. B. (1899). Barleria. In: I. H. Burkill & C. B. Clarke (1899 – 1900), Acanthaceae. In: W. T. Thiselton-Dyer (ed.), Flora of Tropical Africa 5: 140 – 169. L. Reeve & Co., London.
  • Darbyshire, I. (2010b). Barleria. In: H. J. Beentje (ed.), Flora of Tropical East Africa. Acanthaceae, pp. 325 – 442. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Heine, H. (1963). Acanthaceae. In: F. N. Hepper (ed.), Flora of West Tropical Africa. Second Edition, Vol. 2: 391 – 432. Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations, London.
  • Hiern, W. P. H. (1900). Catalogue of the African plants collected by Friedrich Welwitsch in 1853 – 1861. Dicotyledons, part IV Lentibulariaceae to Ceratophylleae. British Museum (Natural History), London.
  • Klopper, R. R., Chatelain, C., Bänninger, V., Habashi, C., Steyn, H. M., de Wet, B. C., Arnold, T. H., Gautier, L., Smith, G. E. & Spichiger, R. (2006). Checklist of the flowering plants of sub-Saharan Africa. An index of accepted names and synonyms. South African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 42, SABONET, Pretoria.
  • Makholela, T. (2008). Acanthaceae. In: E. Figueiredo & G. F. Smith (eds), Plants of Angola / Plantas de Angola. Strelitzia 22. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
  • Moore, S. le (1880). Enumeratio Acanthacearum Herbarii Welwitschiani Angolensis. J. Bot. 18: 193 – 199, 225 – 233, 265 – 270, 307 – 314, 340 – 342 & 362 – 366.
  • Moore, S. le (1930). Mr John Gossweiler’s plants from Angola and Portuguese Congo. Acanthaceae. J. Bot. 68, Suppl. II: 126 – 139.
  • White, F. (1983). Vegetation of Africa. A Descriptive Memoir to Accompany the UNESCO/AETFAT/UNSO Vegetation Map of Africa. UNESCO, Paris.

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • F.T.A. 5: 164.
  • in J. Bot. 18: 267 (1880)

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Darbyshire, I., Tripp, E.A. & Chase, F.M. (2019). A taxonomic revision of Acanthaceae tribe Barlerieae in Angola and Namibia. Part 1 Kew Bulletin 74(5): 1-85. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Onana, J.M. (2011). The vascular plants of Cameroon a taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments: 1-195. National herbarium of Cameroon, Yaoundé.

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa
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