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Pakistan | Family List | Acanthaceae

7. Justicia L., Sp. Pl. 15. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5.10. 1754; Clarke in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4:540. 1885; Durkee in Woodson & Scherry, Fl. Panama in Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard. 65: 209. 1978.


Erect, rarely procumbent or ascending herbs or shrubs. Leaves short to long petiolate, lamina ovate to elliptic, entire, rarely crenate or crenulate, often with cystoliths. Flowers sessile or pedicellate, white, pink or purple in terminal or axillary congested spikes or panicles, sometimes solitary or in thyrsoid cymes; bracts linear or subulate to large, foliaceous and imbricate; bracteoles 2, linear-lanceolate, occasionally absent. Calyx deeply 4-5-lobed, lobes usually narrow, equal or ± unequal, narrowly scarious, obtuse to acuminate. Corolla bilabiate; tube often narrow, funnel-shaped, straight or incurved; upper lip narrow, ± galeate, entire to bifid; lower lip broad, ± patent or recurved, shallowly to deeply 3-lobed, imbricate. Stamens 2: filaments fillifrom, ± dilated basally, attached near the middle of tube, slightly exserted; anthers dithecous, thecae usually unequal, oblong or linear, occasionally curved or reniform, superposed or almost parallel, one or both cells apiculate or calcarate, staminodes absent. Ovary hairy, stigma minutely unequally 2-lobed. Capsule oblong, ovoid or obovoid-clavate, contracted and solid below the middle to form the stipe, usually 4-seeded. Seeds on curved retinacula, compressed, orbicular-lenticular, occasionally subglobose or ovate, rough, tuberculate or smooth.

The largest genus in the family with more than 400 species, mainly distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres. Represented in Pakistan by 12 species, of which 7 are native.

1 Flowers more than 2.5 cm long   (2)
+ Flowers less than 2.5 cm long   (4)
2 (1) Leaves glabrous on both sides. Flowers 4-4.5 cm long. Bracts and bracteoles inconspicuous. Calyx lobes less than 4 mm long. Capsule glabrous   9 Justicia tinctoria
+ Leaves pubescent on nerves beneath or sparsely hirsute on both sides. Flowers 3-3.5 cm long. Bracts leafy, more than 1 cm long. Capsules pubescent or puberulous   (3)
3 (2) Bracts becoming reddish-brown with age. Capsule less than 1.5 cm long, puberulent   8 Justicia brandegeana
+ Bracts green, not turning reddish-brown with age. Capsule more than 2 cm long, pubescent   7 Justicia adhatoda
4 (1) Flowers up to 10 mm long   (5)
+ Flowers more than 10 mm long   (10)
5 (4) Flowers 2-5 in axillary fascicles. Calyx 5-lobed, lobes densely glandular-pubescent. Capsule dimorphic   1 Justicia heterocarpa
+ Flowers in long spikes. Calyx 4-lobed, lobes not glandular hairy. Capsules not dimorphic   (6)
6 (5) Bracts 58 mm long   (7)
+ Bracts up to 4 mm long   (8)
7 (6) Petiole 8-10 mm long. Leaves glabrous on both sides. Bracts as long as or slightly longer than flowers. Capsule glabrous   2 Justicia peploides
+ Petiole up to 4 mm long. Leaves sparsely hairy on both sides. Bracts nearly half as long as flowers. Capsule hairy towards apex   3 Justicia vahlii
8 (6) Spikes up to 2.5 cm long. Bracts obovate   4 Justicia procumbens
+ Spikes more than 3 cm long. Bracts ovate or elliptic-ovate   (9)
9 (8) Bracts ovate, glabrous. Capsule glabrous   5 Justicia diffusa
+ Bracts elliptic-ovate. Pilose, scarious with green midrib. Capsule hairy to glabrescent   6 Justicia japonica
10 (4) Lamina hairy on both sides. Flowers pinkish-red without spots or streaks   10 Justicia pubigera
+ Lamina glabrous on both sides. Flowers white with red or purple spots or streaks within   (11)
11 (10) Bracts broadly elliptic-orbicular, imbricated, 8-12 mm long and broad. Bracteoles subulate, 3-4 mm long. Capsule pubescent   11 Justicia ventricosa
+ Bracts lanceolate, not imbricated, c. 4 mm long. Capsule glabrous   12 Justicia gendarussa

  • List of lower taxa


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