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This species is accepted, and its native range is N. Kenya.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Shrub to 2.5 m tall; young stems densely puberulous and with scattered longer hairs.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves with petiole to 7 mm long; lamina ovate to elliptic in outline, largest 10–17 × 4–7.5 cm, deeply lobed with large triangular spine-tipped lobes, each lobe with 1–2 spines on both sides, apex acuminate, spine-tipped, base cuneate to truncate, beneath puberulous or densely so on midrib and larger veins, glabrous to puberulous on lamina, above puberulous on midrib, otherwise glabrous or with a few scattered hairs; stipule-like interpetiolar leaves present, with lamina up to 5 mm long, spiny.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes terminal or also axillary from uppermost axils, 3–14 cm long; rachis densely sericeous-tomentose, with several pairs of sterile bracts at base; bracts leathery, with 3–5 prominent longitudinal veins, straw-coloured, obovate, densely sericeous in basal part, sparsely so upwards, 2.3–3 cm long in middle of cyme, spine-tipped and with 12–25 large and small teeth per side, longest ± 7 mm, small teeth inserted on larger near their base, teeth densely hairy throughout with longest hairs 1–2 mm long; bracteoles linear-lanceolate, 2.3–3.1 cm long, with 5–7 teeth per side, longest ± 7 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx green with purple tips, thickened part yellow, sericeous or densely so with hairs to 3 mm long, conspicuously ciliate; dorsal and ventral sepals ovate or ovate-elliptic, dorsal 1–3-veined, 2.7–3.2 cm long, obtuse to acute and spine-tipped or with acuminate 2-toothed tip and with 1–8 lateral teeth per side, longest tooth ± 4 mm long, ventral sepal 2-veined, 2.3–2.7 cm long, with 2 triangular spine-tipped lobes ± 5 mm long and with 1–6 lateral teeth per side, longest tooth ± 3 mm long, lateral sepals 1-veined, ovate, 2–2.2 cm long, acuminate, without or with 1–2 small teeth per side.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla tube white, limb pinkish-mauve; tube 2–3 mm long below thickened rim which is 4–7 mm long and extended dorsally into a 2–7 mm long tooth; limb 3.5–5 × 3–3.8 cm, below puberulous, above sparsely puberulous; callus with broad central groove and two narrow lateral ridges.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 1.8–2 cm long, 2 dorsal hairy on inside near base; anthers 4–4.5 mm long, glabrous or with long curly hairs on sides.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule and seed not seen.
Distribution
Range: Kenya. Range: Not known elsewhere Flora districts: K1 Range: Not known elsewhere
Ecology
Grassy glades in dry montane forest and on forest margins; 1950–2100 m
Note
Differs from A. polystachius in the long silky indumentum on bracts and calyx, the longer bract teeth, the longer sepals and in the long dorsal tooth on the thickened corolla rim. It also occurs a long way outside the distribution area of A. polystachius.

[KBu]

Vollesen, K. (2007). Synopsis of the Species of Acanthus (Acanthaceae) in Tropical East and Northeast Africa and in Tropical Arabia. Kew Bulletin, 62(2), 233-249. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20443348

Conservation
Known only from three collections made within a period of 50 years from the same mountain in NW Kenya. Quentin Luke (pers. comm.) confirms that Acanthus kulalensis is common in the montane grasslands surrounding the dry montane forest on Mt Kulal and also in grassy glades within the forest. The forests on Mt Kulal have been much degraded over the last 25 years particularly by increased grazing and foraging, but the montane grasslands have been much less disturbed. In common with the other species evaluated here A. kulalensis is not palatable to browsing animals and is not used for firewood or building poles. Probably Vulnerable (VU) due to limited area of distribution.
Distribution
Known only from Mt Kulal in northern Kenya.
Ecology
Grassy glades in dry montane forest and on forest margins; 1975 - 2100 m.
Morphology General Habit
Shrub to 2.5 m tall; young stems densely puberilous and with scattered longer hairs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves beneath puberulous or densely puberulous on midrib and larger veins, glabrous to puberulous on lamina, above puberulous on midrib, otherwise glabrous or with a few scattered hairs; petiole to 0.7 cm long; lamina ovate to elliptic in outline, largest 10 - 17 x 4 - 7.5 cm, deeply lobed with large triangular spine tipped lobes, each lobe with 1 - 2 spines on both sides; apex acuminate, spine-tipped; base cuneate to truncate; stipule-like interpetiolar leaves present, with lamina up to 0.5 cm long, spiny
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers in terminal or also axillary (from uppermost axils) racemoid cymes, 3 - 14 cm long; rachis densely sericeous-tomentose, with several pairs of sterile bracts at base; bracts leathery, with 3 - 5 prominent longitudinal veins, straw-coloured, obovate, densely sericeous in basal part, sparsely so upwards, 2.3 - 3 cm long in middle of spike, spine-tipped and with 12 - 25 large and small teeth per side, longest c. 7 mm, small teeth inserted on larger ones near their base, teeth densely hairs, throughout with longest hairs 1 - 2 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 4, exserted, inserted just inside throat, two posterior held above anterior; filaments curved, thick and bony, laterally compressed, 1.8 - 2 cm long, 2 dorsal hairy on inside near base; anthers 1-thecous, oblong, with brushes of stiff hairs along whole length ventrally, 4 - 4.5 mm long, glabrous or with long curly hairs on sides
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx divided to base into 4 glumaceous sepals which are thickened and horny at the base, green with purple tips, thickened part yellow, sericeous or densely sericeous with hairs to 3 mm long, conspicuously ciliate; dorsal and ventral sepals ovate or or ovate-elliptic, dorsal 1 - 3-veined, 2.7 - 3.2 cm long, obtuse to acute and spine-tipped or with acuminate 2-toothed tip and with 1 - 8 lateral teeth per side, longest tooth c. 4 mm long, ventral sepal 2 veined, 2.3 - 2.7 cm long, with 2 triangular spine-tipped lobes c. 5 mm long and with 1 - 6 lateral teeth per side, longest tooth c. 3 mm long, lateral sepals 1 veined, ovate, 2 - 2.2 cm long, acuminate, without or with 1 - 2 small teeth per side
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla tube white, limb pinkish-mauve; tube apically thickened and spongy and with a dense band of thick retrorse hairs on the inside, 2 - 3 mm long below thickened rim which is 4- 7 mm long and extended dorsally into a 2 - 7 mm long tooth; limb 5-lobed, 3.5 - 5 x 3 - 3.8 cm, below puberulous, above sparsely puberulous; lobes broadly oblong, rounded or central emarginate; callus with broad central groove and two narrow lateral ridges
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 2-locular with 2 ovules per locule; style linear, glabrous; stigma of 2 linear, acute lobes c. 1.5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracteoles
Bracteoles 2, linear-lanceolate, 2.3 - 3.1 cm long, with 5 - 7 teeth per side, longest c. 7 mm long
Note
Differs from Acanthus polystachius in the long silky indumentum on bracts and calyx, in the longer bract teeth, in the longer sepals and in having a dorsal tooth on the thickened corolla rim. This last character has not been observed in any other eastern African species. The bract teeth are also differently arranged with the smaller teeth attached on the base of the larger teeth rather than between them.
Phenology
Flowering specimens have been collected from July to December.
Type
Kenya, W.R.Q. & P.A. Luke 10818 (holotypus K!; isotypi BR, CAS, EA, K!).

Native to:

Kenya

Acanthus kulalensis Vollesen appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2012 Luke, W.R.Q. [10818], Kenya K000913680 isotype
Jan 1, 2012 Luke, W.R.Q. [10818], Kenya K000913679 holotype
Luke, W. R. Q. [11655], Kenya K000469028

First published in Kew Bull. 62: 239 (2007)

Accepted by

  • Vollesen, K. (2008). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Acanthaceae(1): 1-285.

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Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • K.B. 62: 239 (2007).

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
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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 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 Bulletin
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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