Barleriacanthus acanthoides Oerst.
A small, much branched, up to 60 cm, densely greyish-pubescent shrublet, armed with simple, up to 5-6 mm long spins in leaf axils. Leaves on 4-7 mm long, hairy petiole; lamina dark green, oblong-ovate or ± obovate, (1.2-) 1.5-4 (-5) x (8-) 12-20 mm, basally attenuate, pubescent on both sides, margins entire, apex obtusely mucronate. Flowers white, large, 6-7.5 (-9) cm long, in 1-8-flowered, congested, scorpioid racemes; bracts leafy, membranous, elliptic, 1.2-1.5 (-2) cm long, pinnatifid-spinescent or reduced to pinnatifid spines. Calyx deeply lobed; outer 2 lobes broadly ovate, 1.2-1.7 cm x c. 8-10 mm, ± equal, sharply mucronate, becoming yellowish-brown; inner lobes lanceolate, 7-8 mm long. Corolla tube cylindrical 5-6 (-8) cm long, slightly widened below the 5-lobed limb, lobes ovate, 6-10 mm long, acute. Capsule ellipsoid, 1-1.2 cm x 4-5 mm, attenuate at both ends, glabrous, 4-seeded, ovoid, 3-4 mm in diam., silky hairy.
Fl. Per.: September-February.
Type: ‘Habitat in Arabia felici’.
Distribution: Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Pakistan (NWF Punjab, Sind) and N.W. India.
A highly variable species in the size of leaves and macro, outer sepal spines of bracts and length of the corolla tube and limb lobes.
Used as a fodder for goats and camels.