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Rostellularia adscendens (R.Br.) R.M.Barker
Family Acanthaceae
Rostellularia adscendens (R.Br.) R.M.Barker APNI*

Synonyms: Justicia procumbens L. APNI*

Description: Ascending herb, usually 10–50 cm high, usually ± pubescent; lower branches often with woody base.

Leaves mostly oblong to ± ovate, 5–30 mm long, 2–8 mm wide, with large curved cystoliths perpendicular to midrib and often smaller curved cystoliths between.

Spikes 1–5 cm long, dense, sometimes interrupted at base; bracts ovate, 3–5.5 mm long, usually with hairs on apical half of margins and on green parts. Calyx 5–7 mm long, green. Corolla 4–10 mm long, with 2 longitudinal folds with darker striations.

Capsule mostly 5–7 mm long, glabrous or sometimes pubescent in upper half.


Photo © ANBG

Flowering: throughout year.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows chiefly in woodland, often along watercourses or in rocky sites; north from Henty.
NSW subdivisions: NC, NT, NWS, CWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP
Other Australian states: Qld N.T. S.A. W.A.
AVH map***

R. adscendens is a variable species; 5 subspecies have been distinguished, which are ± distinct geographically and morphologically. Within subsp. adscendens 5 varieties have been recognized, variation is continuous and largely clinal, and these taxa are often difficult to separate satisfactorily. Intermediates are known to occur between var. adscendens and var. pogonantha.

Text by J. Everett
Taxon concept:

 Key to the varieties 
1Corolla >6 mm long along upper side; style 5–6 mm long2
Corolla usually <6 mm long along upper side; style 3–5 mm long. Many-stemmed herbs, green to grey-green, usually hairy throughout, especially along ribs on stems and at nodes and young parts. Leaves ± ovate, usually 5–10 mm long, 2–5 mm wide, 1.5–2.5 times as long as broad; petiole 0.5–2 mm long. Corolla 4–6 mm longvar. latifolia
2Usually few-stemmed herb, light to dark green, glabrous or young parts and nodes sparsely pubescent. Leaves ovate to lanceolate or oblong, mostly 10–20 mm long, 2–6 mm wide, usually 3–6 times long as broad; petiole 1–3 mm long. Corolla 6–8 mm longvar. adscendens
Many-stemmed herb, green to grey-green, pubescent or ± glabrous, often hirsute through the soft hairs or only young parts or nodes pubescent. Leaves ovate to oblong, 6–15 mm long, 2–7 mm wide, 2–3 times long as broad; petiole c. 1 mm long. Tiny vegetative shoots with circular leaves frequently form on woody base of plant
                       Back to 1
var. pogonanthera

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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