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This species is accepted, and its native range is Angola.

[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
This species has a very small range in the vicinity of Namibe (formerly Mossamedes) in Angola, with the EOO currently recorded as only 1205 km2. Recent Acanthaceae-focussed fieldwork in this area by one of the current authors (E. A. T.) revealed two sites for this species but it was noted as uncommon and very localised at both, and at the type locality it was only found in one small area despite extensive searching. Therefore, it is considered to be globally scarce. That said, the deserts away from the coastal strip here are very sparsely populated by man and the natural habitats here are largely pristine or with only minimal disturbance. Teixeira (1968), in a review of the plant conservation priorities in Angola, noted “the Moçâmedes desert…supports a natural collection of species famous all over the world, which fortunately is not in danger” (p. 197), and this situation still appears to be largely true today. Therefore, it is quite likely that this species is not under any major threat and it is provisionally assessed as of Least Concern — LC. However, this species qualifies as “Rare” (sensu Raimondo et al. 2009) in view of its small EOO coupled with the low density of individuals.
Distribution
Endemic to southwestern Angola (Namibe Province).
Ecology
Barleria deserticola is recorded from rocky desert areas, growing in sheltered crevices and edges of rock outcrops in barren terrain including on limestone and slate; recorded from near sea-level to 350 m elevation. It is one of the few Barleria species of southwest Africa to be found in hyper-arid areas. It is restricted to the northernmost portions of the Namib Desert at the extreme north of the Kaokoveld Centre of plant endemism (sensu van Wyk & Smith 2001).
Morphology General Habit
Dwarf shrublet with procumbent or prostrate stems, to 10 – 35 cm tall, often many-branched, the basal stems and rootstock woody; leafy stems 6-angular, puberulous with minute white retrorse hairs throughout, particularly dense in furrows along the angles; nodal line strigose
Morphology Leaves
Leaves shortly petiolate, petiole to 3 – 8 mm long; blade narrowly oblong, oblong-elliptic or somewhat spathulate, 1 – 3.8 × 0.4 – 0.9 cm (l:w ratio 2.5 – 5.5), base cuneate or attenuate, margin entire, apex acute to rounded, mucronulate, yellowish-strigose mainly on the margin and veins beneath, both surfaces white-puberulent to densely so giving the whole plant a silvery appearance, sometimes with interspersed short patent glandular hairs; lateral veins 3 – 4 pairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 4 perfected, didynamous, either all four exserted or the shorter pair held at the mouth, longer pair with filaments c. 13.5 – 18 mm long, anthers 2.4 – 2.7 mm long; shorter pair with filaments 8.5 – 16 mm long, anthers 2 – 2.3 mm long; adaxial staminode variable, 1.5 – 8.3 mm long with antherode up to 1.2 mm long or antherode absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx at first pale green or purple-green with green or brown venation, in fruit pale brown scarious or pink-tinged; anterior and posterior lobes subequal, (ovate-) lanceolate or anterior lobe more elliptic, 9.5 – 18 × 4 – 6.7 mm, base cuneate or attenuate, margin obscurely to prominently toothed with 4 – 8 teeth per side up to 0.5 – 1.5 mm long and bristle-tipped, apex attenuate into a mucro or anterior lobe sometimes bifid for up to 2 mm, external surface with prominent palmate- (or subparallel-) reticulate venation, white retrorse-puberulent throughout, with occasional yellowish strigose hairs along the main veins and with or without scattered short patent glandular hairs; lateral lobes lanceolate, 8.5 – 13 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 25 – 36 mm long, pale violet-blue or purple, throat white with or without purple speckling, eglandular-pubescent externally with occasional interspersed glandular hairs on the lateral lobes; tube cylindrical, 14.5 – 23 mm long; limb subregular but with abaxial lobe offset by up to 2 mm from the other lobes; abaxial lobe obovate or obovate-elliptic, 11.5 – 13.5 × 6 – 8.5 mm, apex obtuse to shallowly emarginated; lateral lobes obovate-elliptic, 10 – 13 × 5.5 – 8 mm, apices obtuse; adaxial lobes as lateral lobes but 9 – 12 × 5.5 – 7.5 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary glabrous except for apical ring of minute white crisped hairs; style glabrous; stigma linear or clavate, 0.6 – 0.9 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 4-seeded, 12 – 15 mm long, glabrous; seeds 4.5 – 5 × 4 – 4.5 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences axillary, often crowded on short lateral branches, flowers solitary or more rarely paired, peduncle 1 – 3.5 mm long, puberulent; bracts foliaceous; bracteoles linear-lanceolate or -oblanceolate, 3.5 – 11 × 0.6 – 1.5 mm, margin entire or with up to 3 short bristle-tipped teeth per side, apex mucronulate, can be somewhat curved, midrib prominent abaxially
Note
This species is most similar to Barleria cyanea but differs in being a compact shrublet with short trailing or procument leafy branches (vs a spindly shrublet with slender, arching or scandent leafy branches); in having a dense white-puberulent indumentum on the stems and leaves which give the plant a silvery appearance (vs stems and leaves strigose, the puberulent indumentum being restricted to two opposite bands on the stems, plants not silvery); in usually having longer bracteoles, 3.5 – 11 mm long (vs 1.5 – 4.5 mm long), in the outer calyx lobes usually having 4 – 8 ± well developed marginal teeth (vs entire or at most obscurely toothed), and in having four perfected stamens (vs two perfected stamens in B. cyanea). The epithet “deserticola”, meaning “desert-dwelling”, denotes the fact that this is one of the few species of Barleria that is restricted to hyper-arid habitats in the Kaokoveld Centre of Endemism. This species was first collected by Welwitsch in 1859 – 1860 but his specimens, which were mainly in fruit, were wrongly placed in Barleria marlothii (= B. damarensis) by Clarke (1899) and Hiern (1900). Finally, after over a century and half, thanks to the recent collection of good flowering material, it is confirmed as a distinct species as Moore (1880) had suspected. It has a very different habit to B. damarensis and also differs in, for example, having fewer-flowered inflorescences with the bracteoles being held straight or only slightly curved (vs markedly recurved) and in having fewer glandular hairs on the young stems and calyces. Benoist’s (1950) record of B. marlothii, based on Castro 117 (n.v., presumed lost on loan in Luanda during the civil war), is almost certainly referable here, as the collecting locality — Chapéu Armado a S. Nicolau — is just a little further north than the Winter specimen cited. Barleria deserticola is here considered to be most closely allied to B. cyanea but differs in the characters recorded in the Recognition section. It also appears to grow in drier, desert environments than B. cyanea which prefers mopane woodland. A striking feature of this species is the presence of four perfected, didynamous stamens. These are present in both the few flowers available on Winter 7783 and in all flowers examined on the type specimen. The adaxial portion of the androecium is also quite well developed in some flowers, with an antherode present, although it is much-reduced in others. This arrangement of the androecium is unusual for Barleria, where species typically have only two perfected stamens, but it is not unprecedented. For example, similar arrangements are seen in B. ovata Nees from South Africa and B. morrisiana E. Barnes & C. E. C. Fisch. from India (see Balkwill and Balkwill 1997). Tripp 6948, which is mainly in fruit but with one small, wilted corolla on the K sheet, has only two perfected stamens and the lateral androecial units are much reduced with small antherodes. This specimen also differs from the other material in having largely entire calyx lobe margins, but is otherwise a good match for B. deserticola. Further studies are therefore required to confirm the variability of the androecium arrangement in this species.
Type
Angola, Namibe Prov., c. 20.2 km along unnamed 4×4 track that leaves W directly towards ocean from main highway between Caraculo and Bentiaba, N of crossing of Rio Mucungo, road to "Pupa", fl. & old fr., 12 April 2017, Tripp & Dexter 6933 (holotype COLO!; isotypes K!, LUBA!).

Native to:

Angola

Barleria deserticola I.Darbysh. & E.A.Tripp appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Kew Bull. 74(1)-5: 33 (2019)

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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-00997-6 Scientific Data 8: 215.

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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/
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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