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Pakistan | Family List | Acanthaceae

4. Hygrophila R. Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl. 479. 1810. Nees in DC., Prodr. 11: 85. 1847; Benth. & Hook. f., Gen. Pl. 2: 1075. 1876; Boiss., Fl. Or. 4: 518. 1879; Clarke in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4: 406. 1885.


Erect or diffuse, glabrous or villose, ± suffrutescent, occasionally armed herbs of wet or marshy habitats. Leaves opposite, sessile to subsessile, entire. Flowers sessile, bluish-purple or white in axillary cymose fascicles or terminal dense heads or spikes; bracts leafy, ellipitc or linear-lanceolate; bracteoles lineal subulate. Calyx 4-5-lobed almost to the middle, the lobes linear or lanceolate, slightly unequal, valvate. Corolla glabrous, tube uniformly cylindrical, some what ampliate near the mouth, the limb bilabiate, upper lip erect, concave, shorter than lower, shallowly 2-lobed or emarginate, the lower lip patent, shallowly 3-lobed. Stamens 4, didynamous, all fertile or 2 fertile and 2 staminodes attached at the throat, exserted, filaments basally dilated and connate in pairs anthers oblong, dithecous, thecae equal, parallel, muticous. Ovary oblong-cylindric, 2-loculed, ovules (2-) 4-8 (-18) in each locule; style filiform, hairy recurved at tip with simple stigma. Capsule oblong-cylindric, not stipitate, (4-) 8-16 (-36)-seeded. Seeds compressed, oblique-ovate or orbicular, on hook-like funicles, hairy.

A genus of c. 80 species, distributed in tropical and subtropical countries of both the New and Old World. Represented in Pakistan by 3 species.

1 Erect armed herb. Leaves in pseudo-whorls of 6, minutely dentate on margins. Flowers in axillary whorled fascicles. Calyx 4-lobed. Capsule 4-8-seeded   1 Hygrophila auriculata
+ Procumbent or erect unarmed herbs. Leaves opposite, entire. Flowers in short spikes. Calyx 5-lobed. Capsule more than 8-seeded   (2)
2 (1) Erect, up to 1 m tall herb. Leaves 2-3.5 cm wide. Flowers c. 1.5 cm long. Capsule 8-12-seeded   3 Hygrophila quadrivalvis
+ Procumbent herb, rooting at the nodes. Leaves up to 1 cm wide. Flowers c. 8 mm long. Capsule more than 15-seeded   2 Hygrophila polysperma

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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Flora of China  
  • Hygrophila (PDF)
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