Description from Flora of China
Acanthus ebracteatus Vahl var. xiamenensis (R. T. Zhang) C. Y. Wu & C. C. Hu; A. ilicifolius var. xiamenensis (R. T. Zhang) Y. F. Deng, N. H. Xia & Heng B. Chen; A. xiamenensis R. T. Zhang; Dilivaria ilicifolia (Linnaeus) Jussieu.
Shrubs to 2 m tall, erect. Stems stout, scarcely branched, glabrous, often with stipulelike spines at nodes. Petiole 3-6 mm, thick, glabrous; leaf blade oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 6-14 × 2-5 cm, glabrous, secondary veins 5-7 on each side of midvein, base cuneate, margin pinnatifid and with few large spines, serrate, or subentire, apex truncate. Spikes terminal, to 16.5 cm; bracts broadly ovate, 7-8 mm, caducous; bracteoles ovate, ca. 5 mm, leathery. Calyx posterior and anterior lobes 1-1.3 cm, margin scarious and sometimes crispate, apex emarginate; lateral lobes ovate, ca. 1 cm, margin entire. Corolla white [bluish to pinkish], 3-4 cm; tube ca. 6 mm; lip obovate, 2.2-3 cm, thinly leathery, outside with soft trichomes, apex 3-cleft. Stamens equal; filaments ca. 1.5 cm; anther theca with a line of trichomes on both sides of suture. Style ca. 2.2 cm. Capsule 2.5-3 cm. Seeds light yellow, reniform. Fl. Feb-Mar, fr. Aug-Sep. 2n = 44, 48.
This species is used medicinally.
Mangrove swamps, marshes; near sea level. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan [Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Australia, Pacific islands].