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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 12,000 km2 and an extent of occurrence of 865.479 km2, based on Geocat, this species should be provisionally classified as Endangered (EN) according to IUCN guidelines. It is only known from four collections, two made more than 50 years ago and its forest habitat is vulnerable to clearance. Further studies are needed to confirm the classification but, unless further populations are found, a classification of CR (Critically Endangered) may prove to be more correct.
It is endemic to the Cusco region in the south of Peru.
A plant of hill forest recorded mostly between 1800 – 1900 m in Andean Peru.
Morphology General Habit
Robust isophyllous herb 1 – 2 m high
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate; petioles 0.3 – 3 cm, somewhat hispid-pubescent, diminishing in size upwards; lamina 4 – 26 × 1.8 – 9.5 cm, oblong-elliptic, shortly acuminate at both ends, margin entire, veins 7 – 10 pairs, both surfaces thinly hispid-hirsute but densely so on the veins, adaxially usually with prominent cystoliths, abaxially paler
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens exserted 10 – 14 mm, filaments glabous, anthers 6 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 5 – 9 mm long, hispid-hirsute, 5-lobed to near the base, the lobes slightly unequal, filiform, attenuate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 2.1 – 2.7 cm long, subcylindrical, red or purplish, the exterior hirsute with short spreading hairs, the lobes short, subequal, rounded, 1 – 2.5 cm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Style thinly pilose, 2.5 – 3.5 cm long, persistent after the corolla has fallen; ovary densely hirsute with white hairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicels and Peduncles
Peduncles c. 3 mm long, simple or forked, hispid-hirsute; pedicels 0 – 2 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 11 – 12 × 2.5 cm, clavate, hirsute, 4-seeded
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence of solitary terminal unbranched racemes 12 – 20 (– 35) cm long, rarely with short secondary spikes from the axils of the uppermost pair of leaves (which are subsessile and basally rounded); flowers opposite or arranged in subverticillate clusters along the rhachis, the clusters c. 1 cm distant below but nearly confluent apically; rhachis densely hispid-hirsute with large-celled, bulbous-based yellowish hairs, bracts sometimes leaf-like at base of spike, resembling the bracteoles upwards; bracteoles 3 – 5 mm, linear, hispid-hirsute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 1.5 × 1 mm, lenticular, rugose.
Morphology Stem
Stems shortly appressed pubescent
Resembles Stenostephanus lobeliiformis Nees and S. lyman-smithii Wassh. in the elongate racemose inflorescence and tubular corolla with short lips but differs from both these species in the hirsute leaves (not glabrous to thinly pubescent on the veins), the larger corolla, 2.1 – 2.7 cm long (not 1.5 – 2 cm long), densely spreading (not finely appressed) pubescence on the exterior of the corolla and in the more finely filiform-attenuate calyx lobes. This species is named “cuscoensis” after the Cusco region to which it is endemic.
Peru, Cusco, Lares Valley above Mantoc, 8 March 1929, A. Weberbauer 7917 (holotype F1849836, isotypes F605272, K, US2653737).

Native to:


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

First published in Kew Bull. 74(4)-64: 8 (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.
  • Wood, J. R. I. (2009). New names, combinations and synonyms in Justicia and Stenostephanus (Acanthaceae). Kew Bull. 64: 49 – 55.

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.