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This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Central Peru.


Wood, J.R.I. Stenostephanus (Acanthaceae) in Peru. Kew Bulletin 74: 64 doi:10.1007/s12225-019-9843-0

With an area of occupancy of 48,000 km2 and an extent of occurrence of 3178.183 km2, based on Geocat, this species should be provisionally classified as Endangered (EN) following IUCN guidelines. Some sites lie within the Area de Conservación Regional Choquequirao but Andean forest is very vulnerable to clearance and it is not clear how secure the conservation area is.
Endemic to the area around Macchu Pichu in the Cusco region of southern Peru.
Humid montane forest usually between 2100 – 2800 m in the Peruvian Andes.
Morphology General Habit
Subshrub/woody herb to 1.5 m
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate; petioles 0.5 – 4 cm, crisped pubescent; lamina oblong-elliptic to obovate, shortly acuminate, base attenuate and somewhat decurrent onto the petiole; both surfaces very thinly to rather densely pubescent, with abundant short cystoliths, abaxially paler and sometimes the veins with denser pubescence; veins 10 – 11 pairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Filaments glabrous, anthers exserted to 12 mm, 4 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx with rounded base c. 1 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes linear-attenuate 6 – 9 (– 13) mm long, somewhat accrescent in fruit, very sparsely and shortly hirsute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 2 – 3.5 cm, red, subcylindrical, the basal part narrow up to 9 mm long, 1 – 2 mm wide, then slightly, but abruptly widened to 3 – 4 mm, the tube nearly glabrous but the apical portion with a few scattered hairs, obscurely 2-lipped, the upper lip lanceolate, c. 5 mm long, the lower lip shorter, with short oblong lobes c. 2 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Style 3.1 mm long, glabrous, persistent; stigma globose, ovary hirsute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicels and Peduncles
Peduncles 5 – 15 mm, simple or forked, crisped pubescent; secondary peduncles shorter; pedicels 1 – 2 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 15 × 2.5 mm, clavate, hirsute; 4-seeded
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence of very lax, few-flowered axillary racemes, arising from the upper leaf axils, often reduced to a few flowers; rhachis 7 – 16 cm, densely hirsute; bracts at base of raceme resembling small leaves; at branching points resembling bracteoles; bracteoles linear, minute, c. 1.5 mm long, crisped pubescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds lenticular, 2.25 × 1.5 mm, reticulate.
Morphology Stem
Stems somewhat sulcate, pubescent in the depressions, glabrescent when old and woody parts glabrous
Resembles Stenostephanus crenulatus (Britton ex Rusby) Wassh. in the shape and colour of the corolla and appearance of the inflorescence but differs in the hirsute (not glabrous) ovary and capsule, shortly pubescent (not glabrous) corolla and especially in the shape of the calyx whose lobes are linear-filiform 6 – 11 mm in length, not deltoid, 2 – 3 mm long. This species is named “antiquorum” because it is chiefly found around Macchu Pichu, the most famous remains of ancient civilisation in Peru.
Peru, Cusco, Urubamba, Sanctuario historico de Macchupiccu y el Camino Inca, 13°09'S 72°31'W, 2300 – 4150 m, 16 March 1988, P. Nuñez & F. Luna 8865 (holotype F2028096, isotypes MO, US).

Native to:


Stenostephanus antiquorum J.R.I.Wood appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Kew Bull. 74(4)-64: 3 (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. Scientific Data 8: 215.


Kew Bulletin

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  • Champluvier, D. & Darbyshire, I. (2009). A revision of the genera Brachystephanus and Oreacanthus (Acanthaceae) in tropical Africa. Syst. & Geogr. Pl. 79: 115 – 192.
  • Daniel, T. (2006). Synchronous flowering and monocarpy suggest plietesial life history for neotropical Stenostephanus chiapensis (Acanthaceae). Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 57: 1011 – 1018.
  • Hokche, O., Berry, P. E. & Huber, O. (2008). Nuevo catálogo de la flora vascular de Venezuela.1 – 859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela, Caracas.
  • Lindau, G. (1897). Acanthaceae Americanae et Asiaticae novae vel minus cognitae. Bull. Herb. Boissier 5: 643 – 681.
  • Lindau, G. (1914). Acanthaceae. In: R. Pilger (ed.), Plantae Uleanae. Notizbl. Königl. Bot. Gart. Berlin 6: 192 – 200.
  • Lindau, G. (1922). Neue Gattungen der Acanthaceen. Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 8: 142 – 144.
  • Nees von Esenbeck, C. G. (1847). Acanthaceae. In: A. P. de Candolle (ed.), Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis 11: 46 – 519. Masson, Paris.
  • Ruiz, H. & Pavon, J. A. (1798). Flora Peruviana et Chilensis Vol. 1: 1 – 78. Gabrielis de Sancha, Madrid.
  • Rusby, H. H. (1927). Descriptions of new genera and species of plants collected on the Mulford Biological Exploration of the Amazon Valley 1921 – 1922. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 7: 205 – 387.
  • Wasshausen, D. C. & Wood, J. R. I. (2001). Further discoveries in the genus Stenostephanus (Acanthaceae) in Bolivia. Harvard Pap. Bot. 6: 449 – 454.
  • Wasshausen, D. C. & ____ (2004). The Acanthaceae of Bolivia. Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 49: 1 – 152.
  • Wasshausen, D. C. (1985). New species of Hansteinia (Acanthaceae) from Colombia and Ecuador. Brittonia 37: 203 – 208.
  • Wasshausen, D. C. (1999a). The genus Stenostephanus (Acanthaceae) in Bolivia. Harvard Pap. Bot. 4: 279 – 288.
  • Wasshausen, D. C. (1999b). In: P. M. Jørgensen & S. León-Yánez (eds), Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 75: 1 – 1181.
  • Wasshausen, D. C. (2007). A checklist of the Acanthaceae collected in the “Sira Mountains” of Peru. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 108 B: 167 – 190.
  • Wasshausen, D. C. (2013). Acanthaceae. In: C. Persson & B. Stahl (eds), Flora of Ecuador, Vol. 179: 1 – 328. University of Gothenburg, Göteborg.
  • Wood, J. R. I. (1988). Colombian Acanthaceae — some new discoveries and some reconsiderations. Kew Bull. 43: 1 – 51.
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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 Bulletin
Kew Bulletin

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.