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

[FTEA]

Acanthaceae (part 1), Kaj Vollesen, Flora of Tropical East Africa, 2008

Morphology General Habit
Erect (rarely straggling or procumbent) perennial herb with several usually unbranched stems from a woody rootstock; stems up to 1 m long, glabrous to densely pubescent (rarely sericeous).
Morphology Leaves
Leaves stiff and leathery, glossy, greyish beneath, one pair usually only 1/8–2/3 of the other; lamina narrowly ovate to ovate or narrowly elliptic to elliptic (rarely lanceolate), largest 5–14 × 0.8–3.8 cm, margin toothed (rarely only towards base or some entire), glabrous to sparsely pubescent below, above finely scabrid-puberulous (rarely glabrous or puberulous to pubescent), scabrid on margins.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Heads on upper part of stems only, subsessile; axis glabrous to pubescent or pilose; floral leaves and outer bracts lanceolate to elliptic, up to 5 cm long, glabrous to pilose, no capitate glands; inner bracts linear-lanceolate to ovate or obovate, up to 2.5(–3) cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals subglabrous to pubescent, ciliate, no capitate glands; dorsal elliptic-obovate, (16–)20–28 mm long, narrowing gradually to the acuminate to acute apex (rarely with 1–2 small teeth at base of terminal); ventral similar, 16–26 mm long, with 2 acuminate teeth (very rarely also with a central tooth); lateral 13–21 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla pale blue to bright dark blue or pale to dark bluish purple (very rarely pure white), (21–)25–35 mm long of which the tube 6–10(–12) mm; limb distinctly 3-lobed, callus 3-ribbed and with 3 distinct apical flanges.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 6–10 mm long, glabrous; appendage 1–2.5 mm long, broadly rounded, straight; anthers 4–6 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 9–10 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed not seen.
Distribution
Range: Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique Range: Tanzania. Flora districts: T1 T4 T5 T7 T8 Range: Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique
Ecology
Brachystegia woodland, Combretum and Uapaca bushland, grassland, on a wide range of soils from black clay to loamy or sandy soil or on rocky limestone slopes; 900–2000 m
Note
The material from Malawi seem to indicate that here subglabrous and hairy plants can be found in ± the same locality. But the transition seems to be quite gradual, and I find it impossible to separate out any infraspecific taxa. Plants from N Tanzania ( T 1, 4) are much less hairy and have wider bracts and sepals than plants from S Tanzania. Blepharis grandis is normally strictly erect, but when it grows in dense vegetation or continues to grow into the dry season straggling or even decumbent plants develop.

Native to:

Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia

Blepharis grandis C.B.Clarke appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1997 Whyte, A. [125], Malawi K000394238 syntype
Jan 1, 1997 Whyte, A. [s.n.], Malawi K000394239 syntype
Jan 1, 1997 Whyte, A. [s.n.], Malawi K000394240 lectotype
Jan 1, 1997 Whyte, A. [s.n.], Malawi K000394241 isolectotype
Bidgood, S. [5641], Tanzania K000468783

First published in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 5: 104 (1899)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.
  • Vollesen, K. (2008). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Acanthaceae(1): 1-285.
  • Vollesen, K. (2013). Flora Zambesiaca 8(5): 1-184. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Binns, Check List Herb. Fl. Malawi: 12 (1968)
  • F.T.A. 5: 104 (1899)
  • Lebrun & Stork, Enum. Pl. Afr. Trop. 4: 473 (1997)
  • Moriarty, Wild Fl. Malawi: 84, pl. 42, 2 (1975)
  • Serengeti Res. Inst. Publ. No. 215: 25 (1976)
  • Vollesen, Blepharis: 266 (2000).

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East 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 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