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This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Tanzania to NE. Zambia.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FZ]

Flora Zambesiaca Acanthaceae (part 2) by Iain Darbyshire, Kaj Vollesen and Ensermu Kelbessa

Morphology General Habit
Suffruticose perennial with numerous erect stems from a woody rootstock 45–75 cm tall; stems with dense golden-bronze dendritic hairs, many with a long antrorse arm, ± persistent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves (ovate-)elliptic or ± obovate, 6.5–12.5 × 2–5.5 cm, base cuneate or attenuate, apex acute or subattenuate, upper surface with pale long hairs, stellate base often falling early or absent, lower surface pale stellate-pubescent, with buff to golden long-armed dendritic hairs on principal veins and margins; lateral veins 5–7 pairs, these and reticulate tertiary venation prominent beneath; petiole 2–10 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence subglobose, 2.5–4.5 cm in diameter; bracts (ovate-) elliptic, 19.5–34 × 5.5–18 mm, with dense golden-bronze long-armed dendritic hairs on margin and principal veins interspersed with paler stellate hairs; bracteoles ± narrowly (ovate-)elliptic, 21.5–27.5 × 6–10 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Anterior calyx lobe ovate-elliptic, 19–22 × 7.5–10.5 mm, apex bifid, segments obtusely deltate, 1.5–3 mm long, venation subparallel, inconspicuous, indumentum as bracts but sparse towards base; posterior lobe elliptic, 20–22.5 × 7.5–9.5 mm, apex acute or subattenuate, long-armed stellate hairs restricted to distal third, largely glabrous towards base except for simple hairs on margin; lateral lobes linear-lanceolate, 9.5–11.5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 55–75 mm long, blue or purple with whitish throat and tube, rarely white (occasional plants in a population), glabrous externally or sparsely pubescent towards apex of lateral lobes; tube 21–25 mm long, cylindrical in proximal half, funnel-shaped above; lobes each 23–36 × 19–30 mm, abaxial lobe offset by 7–12 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens attached ± midway along corolla tube; filaments (19)26–32 mm long; anthers (4)4.5–5.5 mm long; lateral staminodes 5.5–7 mm long, antherodes to 0.5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary glabrous; style puberulous towards base; stigma 3.2–4 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule c.16 mm long, apex attenuate, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 10–10.5 × c.7 mm.
Distribution
Also in SW Tanzania, likely to occur in southeastern D.R. Congo.
Ecology
Miombo and chipya woodland including dambo fringes; c.1000 m.
Conservation
Conservation notes: Clearly scarce, known from only four collections despite being highly conspicuous; potentially threatened.

[KBu]

Darbyshire, I. (2008). New species in Barleria sect. Stellatohirta (Acanthaceae) from Africa. Kew Bulletin 63: 261. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-008-9028-8

Conservation
This species is currently known from very few collections from a highly restricted range in south-western Tanzania and north-eastern Zambia. This area remains underexplored botanically, with large areas of extant Brachystegia woodland still unsurveyed. Barleria aenea may thus prove to be more widespread than currently recorded. Furthermore, its currently known distribution suggests that it may also occur within the even more poorly known south-eastern region of Congo (Kinshasa). B. aenea must therefore be assessed as Data Deficient (DD) under IUCN (2001) guidelines at present, with more data on distribution and abundance required prior to a more complete assessment.
Diagnosis
B. subglobosae similis sed corolla multo maiore, bracteolis (ovato-ellipticis vel) ellipticis (nec obovatis neque spathulatis), lobis calycis lateralibus brevioribus, capsulis aliquantum maioribus differt.
Distribution
Southwest Tanzania (Flora of Tropical East Africa region T 4); northeast Zambia (Flora Zambesiaca region N).
Ecology
Barleria aenea is recorded from Brachystegia woodland with a grass-dominated understorey, on sandy-loam and gravelly soils; ± 900 – 950 m. Bands (752) recorded it as occurring in (medium-) tall grass, within a recently burnt area of dambo-fringe woodland.
Morphology General Habit
Suffrutescent perennial herb, 45 – 75 cm tall with numerous unbranched or few-branched erect stems from a woody rootstock
Morphology Leaves
Leaves narrowed into a short petiole, 2 – 10 mm long; blade (ovate-) elliptic to somewhat obovate, 6.5 – 12.5 cm long, 2 – 5.5 cm wide, base cuneate to attenuate, margin subentire, apex acute to subattenuate; upper surface with pale long-armed stellate hairs, the stellate base often caducous, lower surface with dense whitish to pale buff stellate hairs and with additional buff to golden long-armed dendritic hairs along the margin and nerves; lateral nerves 5 – 7 pairs, these and the reticulate tertiary venation raised and conspicuous beneath
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 2, attached ± midway along the corolla tube; filaments (19 –) 26 – 32 mm long, with numerous minute subsessile glands and scattered short hairs in the lower 2/3; anthers (4 –) 4.8 – 5.5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Staminodes
Staminodes 2; filaments 5.5 – 7 mm long, densely pilose, antherodes minute, to 0.5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 4-lobed; anticous lobe ovate-elliptic, 19 – 22 mm long, 7.5 – 10.5 mm wide, apex bifid, segments obtusely deltate, 1.5 – 3 mm long, venation subparallel, inconspicuous, indumentum as bracteoles outside, hairs more sparse towards the base, pale appressed-pubescent within; posticous lobe elliptic, 20 – 22.5 mm long, 7.5 – 9.5 mm wide, apex acute to subattenuate, venation parallel, ± inconspicuous, long-armed stellate hairs restricted to the upper third, largely glabrous towards the base except for simple marginal hairs, as anticous lobe within; lateral lobes subulate, 9.5 – 11.5 mm long, with dense golden dendritic hairs outside and with pale simple hairs on the margin and within
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 55 – 75 mm long, blue to purple with a whitish throat and tube, the whole flower rarely white, glabrous outside or sparsely pubescent towards the apex of the lateral lobes; tube 21 – 25 mm long, cylindrical in the lower half where 2.5 – 4 mm deep, funnel-shaped in the upper half, expanded to 10 – 15.5 mm deep at the mouth, pilose within around the attachment of the stamens; limb 5-lobed, the abaxial lobe split from the tube 7 – 12 mm before the lateral lobes, each obovate, 23.5 – 36 mm long, 19.5 – 30 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Disc
Disk cupular, margin irregular, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary glabrous; style puberulous towards the base; stigma filiform, curved, 3 – 4 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule ± 16 mm long, 8 mm wide, apex attenuate, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Synflorescences terminal, subglobose, 2.5 – 4.5 cm in diameter; bracts (ovate-) elliptic, 19.5 – 34 mm long, 5.5 – 18 mm wide, narrowing inwards, base acute to attenuate, apex shortly attenuate, outer surface with dense golden long-armed dendritic hairs particularly on the margin and principal nerves, interspersed with paler stellate hairs, glabrous within; bracteoles ± narrowly (ovate-) elliptic, 21.5 – 27.5 mm long, 6 – 10 mm wide, base attenuate, apex acute to subattenuate, indumentum as bracts but more dense outside
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds discoid-ovate, 10 – 10.5 mm long, ± 7 mm wide, densely covered with buff hygroscopic hairs.
Morphology Stem
Stems with dense golden-bronze dendritic hairs, many with a long antrorse arm, the hairs ± persistent on the mature stems where paler
Note
The specific epithet “aenea” (“bronze”) refers to the characteristic bronze colouring on the stems and inflorescence derived from the combination of rather dense golden dendritic hairs on the dark green- to blackish-drying stems, bracts, bracteoles and calyx. The large, delicate corolla of this species tends to fold and crumple in dried material, making precise measurements of the lobes difficult. Only the full size range for all lobes have thus been recorded in the description. Barleria aenea has previously been mistaken for B. subglobosa S. Moore, a species whose true distribution appears restricted to the Benguella region of western Angola. Although superficially similar, particularly in terms of the habit, indumentum and subglobose terminal synflorescences, these species differ in several respects. Of most note are the much larger corollas of B. aenea with a more strongly funnel-shaped throat. Moore (1911) recorded B. subglobosa as having a tube 17 mm long and only 3.5 mm wide at the throat and having lobes 12 – 14 mm long and 6 – 6.5 mm wide. Whilst a second flowering collection (Faulkner A.405; BM!, K!) has somewhat larger corollas, the limb in particular is clearly much smaller than in B. aenea, the lobes, although mainly folded on the single open flower of the BM sheet, apparently do not exceed 15 mm in length (23.5 – 36 mm in B. aenea). Also of significance, the long-armed stellate hairs on the upper leaf surface of B. subglobosa have a persistent and conspicuous stellate base, whilst those of B. aenea are often early caducous or absent, the hairs often appearing simple. In addition, the inflorescence of B. subglobosa is less densely beset with long-armed dendritic hairs, the bracteoles and, to a lesser extent, the outer calyx lobes are clearly obovate, not (ovate-) elliptic, the anticous calyx lobe is somewhat more deeply bifid (to 5 – 7 mm, not 1.5 – 3 mm), the lateral calyx lobes are longer (13 – 13.5 mm, not 9.5 – 11.5 mm) and the capsules are somewhat smaller (± 14 mm long, not 16 mm). It is, however, unclear as to whether all these characters will remain diagnostic once further material of B. subglobosa becomes available (only two collections being currently known). The affinity of B. aenea to the newly described B. purpureotincta is discussed under that taxon.
Type
Tanzania, 45 km on Namanyere – Karonga road, Bidgood, Mbago & Vollesen 2655 (holotypus K sheet 1!; isotypi BR, C, CAS, DSM!, EA!, K sheet 2!, NHT).

Native to:

Tanzania, Zambia

Barleria aenea I.Darbysh. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Bidgood, S. [2655], Tanzania K000799425 isotype
Bidgood, S. [2655], Tanzania K000799424 holotype

First published in Kew Bull. 63: 264 (2008)

Accepted by

  • Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2010). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Acanthaceae (Part 2): 287-756.
  • Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2015). Flora Zambesiaca 8(6): 1-314. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Kew Bulletin

  • Balkwill, M.-J. & Balkwill, K. (1997). Delimitation and infra-generic classification of Barleria (Acanthaceae). Kew Bull. 52: 535 – 573.
  • Balkwill, M.-J. (1998). Barleria Sect. Stellatohirta. p. 110. In: M.-J. Balkwill & K. Balkwill, A preliminary analysis of distribution patterns in a large, pantropical genus, Barleria L. (Acanthaceae). J. Biogeogr. 25: 95 – 110.
  • IUCN (2001). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
  • Moore, S. le M. (1911). Alabastra diversa. Part XXI. Acanthaceae Africanae novae. J. Bot. 49: 293 – 298 & 305 – 313.
  • White, F. (1983). Vegetation of Africa. A descriptive memoir to accompany the Unesco/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. Unesco, Paris, France.

Flora Zambesiaca

  • in Kew Bull. 63: 264, figs.3, 4 (2008).
  • —Darbyshire in F.T.E.A., Acanthaceae 2: 384 (2010).

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
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Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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
Kew Bulletin
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

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