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 Acanthus Family
Flowers of Odontonema cuspidatum
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Magnoliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Lamiales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Acanthaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[{{{genus}}}]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Acanthaceae (from the genus Acanthus, derived from the Greek, a spine; some of the plants are spiny). Acanthus Family. Fig. 54. Herbs, or rarely shrubs or trees: leaves opposite, rarely whorled: flowers bisexual, irregular, usually bilabiate; calyx 5-cleft; corolla 5-lobed, gamopetalous, hypogynous, the lobes imbricated; stamens usually 4, didynamous, rarely 2, sometimes a staminodium present, epipetalous; hypogynous disk present, mostly small; ovary superior, 2-celled, each cell 2-4-, rarely many-, ovuled; style 1; stigmas 1-2, one lobe often small or wanting: fruit a capsule; seeds exalbuminous, aided in distribution by peculiar outgrowths of the funiculus.

Acanthaceae has 173 genera and about 1,500 species, of tropical distribution. Few species extend into the Mediterranean region and into the United States. Six species are found in the northeastern United States. Two hundred species belong to the genus Ruellia, and 250 to Justicia. The family is related to the Bignoniaceae, and to the Scrophulariaceae, as well as to the other families of this group. The 2-celled ovary with 2-4 ovules and the queer outgrowths of the funiculus are distinctive.

Many species are used in the tropics for medicine; for example, Asteracantha longifolia, a purge and sudorific; Justicia Gendarussa, astringent, used in India for rheumatism, and the leaves sprinkled in clothing to keep insects away; Justicia pectoralis, used for lung troubles. The young flowers of Blepharis edulis and Asystasia gangetica are eaten as vegetables. Ruellia ciliosa of the United States has recently been sold spuriously as Spigelia (pink root).

Twenty to 30 genera are in cultivation in N. America, except in a few cases, as ornamental greenhouse plants. Among these are: Acanthus (Bear's Breech), hardy herbs; Adhatoda, shrubs; Aphelandra, shrubs; Crossandra, shrub; Fittonia, herbs; Graptophyllum (Caricature Plant), shrubs; Jacobinia, herbs; Justicia, referred to other genera; Peristrophe; Ruellia, herbs or shrubs; Strobilanthes, often used also for bedding.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


There are 246 accepted genera according to Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)wp.



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