Stephanophysum longifolium Pohl APNI*
Synonyms: Ruellia graecizans Backer APNI*
Ruellia graecizans var. albiflora APNI*
Description: Erect, perennial herb, or subshrub to 1 m high. Branches 4-angled, glabrous.
Leaves with petioles c. 2 cm long; lamina ovate, to c. 6–8 cm long, 2.4–3.9 cm wide; base cuneate or attenuate; margin slightly crenulate; apex acuminate or acute; surface covered with cystoliths, bright green above, paler below.
Inflorescence axillary, dichasium; peduncle to 6.5 cm long, minutely hairy; bracteoles linear, less than calyx length; pedicel to 5 mm long. Calyx 8–11 mm long, 0.6–0.7 mm wide, minutely hairy. Corolla bright red, throat yellow internally with red venation; tube c. 1 cm long, minutely hairy on outer surface, inner surface glabrous except hairy and glandular at base of stamens; throat c. 2 cm long; lobes c. 3–5 mm long. Stamens with filaments c. 11 mm long, glabrous; anthers 2-celled. Ovary constricted at base and apex; style minutely hairy, c. 23 mm long.
Capsule 13–14 mm long, with glands and hairs present, 5–13-seeded, each seed c. 2.5 mm diam., with a well-developed hook.
Distribution and occurrence: Naturalised in Bellingen (North Coast) and in Queensland. Also naturalised throughout many of the Pacific islands, plus La Réunion and Mauritius. Widely cultivated as an ornamental plant throughout the tropics and as an indoor plant in Europe and North America. Native of Brazil.
This species is spreading by seed from the Bellingen Hospital Grounds, encroaching on neighbouring properties, including a Pinus forest plantation.
NSW subdivisions: *NC
Text by B.J. Conn (2005)
Taxon concept: R.M. Barker (1986)
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.