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


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

Type: Tanzania, Morogoro District: Ukutu [Khutu], Kilengwe [Kirengwe], Speke & Grant s.n. (K!, holo.)
Morphology General Habit
Much branched viscid aromatic annual (? sometimes short-lived perennial) herb; stems erect, trailing or scrambling, up to 1 m tall, puberulent and with usually dense thin glossy white pilose hairs up to 4 mm long, with scattered stalked capitate glands
Morphology Leaves
Leaves with petiole up to 7 cm long; lamina broadly ovatecordiform, largest 8–21(–30) × 3.5–14 cm, apex subacute to subacuminate with an obtuse tip, base truncate to cuneate, margin entire to slightly crenate, beneath puberulous with long thin hairs and with scattered broad hairs, above subglabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicle open, 10–40 cm long; indumentum as stems but with denser capitate glands; primary bracts elliptic or broadly so, from leaf-size down to 5 × 4 mm near apex, indumentum as leaves or denser and with capitate glands; secondary bracts elliptic to orbicular, 2–10 × 2–6 mm; pedicels 0.5–1 mm long, puberulous and with capitate glands
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx puberulous, with long pilose hairs and with usually numerous stalked glands; lobes linear, tapering or spathulate, ventral and lateral 8–10(–13) mm long, dorsal 12–14 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla with upper lip white and lower pale mauve to violet or purple, 12–17(–20) mm long, finely puberulous outside; tube 5–10 mm long; lower lip 7–12(–15) mm long, with long stiff hairs in central part, lobes ovate, 1–3 mm long; anthers 1–2.5 mm long, glabrous; staminodes minute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 10–15 mm long, the valves 2–3 mm wide, finely glandular-puberulous in apical half and ± scattered non-glandular hairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed ± 1.5 mm long
Riverine forest and thicket, riverbanks, Acacia woodland on alluvial clay; 25–450(–800) m
Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar Flora districts: T3 T6 T8

Native to:

Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Brillantaisia pubescens T.Anderson ex Oliv. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1991 Speke [s.n.], Tanzania K000393851 holotype
Greenway [8044], Zambia 1224.000

First published in Trans. Linn. Soc. London 29: 125 (1875)

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.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Benoist, Cat. Pl. Madag. Acanthacées: 13 (1939)
  • Bull. Nat. Hist. Mus. London 28: 84, fig. 8 (1998).
  • F.T.A. 5: 38 (1899)
  • K.B. 36: 570 (1981)
  • Lebrun & Stork, Enum. Pl. Afr. Trop. 4: 475 (1997)
  • Opera Bot. 59: 79 (1980)
  • Trans. Linn. Soc. 29: 125, pl. 125 (1875)

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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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.