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Key to Acanthaceae

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1 Plant a tree, with opposite leathery leaves; [of FL, s. MS, s. LA southward]
1 Plant an herb, with various leaf arrangements.
..2 Leaves in a basal rosette (sometimes with smaller leaves on a scape).
....3 Leaves glabrate, to 22 cm long and 8 cm wide; corolla 0.8-1.3 cm long; capsule 8-10 mm long; stamens 2; [of moist to wet swamps]; [subfamily Nelsonioideae]
....3 Leaves pubescent, to 10 cm long and 3 cm wide; corolla 1.8-4 cm long; capsule 9-18 mm long; stamens 4; [of dry upland pinelands].
......4 Leaves 2-10 cm long, 1-3 cm wide; corolla 3-4 cm long; calyx lobes 15-30 mm long; capsule 12-18 mm long
......4 Leaves 1.5-2.5 cm long, 0.7-0.8 cm wide; corolla ca. 2 cm long; calyx lobes 6-9 mm long; capsule ca. 10 mm long
..2 Leaves cauline.
........5 Fertile stamens 2; corolla distinctly 2-lipped (except salverform in Pseuderanthemum and with 4 nearly equal lobes in Yeatesia).
..........6 Corolla salverform, 5-lobed (but still zygomorphic)
..........6 Corolla distinctly 2-lipped or 4-lobed.
............ 7 Leaves speckled or mottled with pink or white
............ 7 Leaves not speckled with pink or white.
............ ..8 Bracts and bractlets inconspicuous, 2-5 mm long, linear or triangular; stem subterete or obscurely 4-angled
............ ..8 Bracts and/or bractlets subtending the flowers conspicuous, 5-15 mm long, obovate; stem terete or 6-angled.
............ ....9 Stem six-angled in cross-section; corolla conspicuously 2-lipped
............ ....9 Stem terete in cross-section; corolla 4-lobed, the lobes nearly equal
........5 Fertile stamens 4; corolla not distinctly 2-lipped, the corolla lobes of nearly equal size (except distinctly 2-lipped in Hygrophila).
............ ......10 Corolla distinctly 2-lipped
............ ......10 Corolla not distinctly 2-lipped, the corolla lobes of nearly equal size.
............ ........11 Plant an herbaceous vine; leaves cordate-hastate at the base; flowers yellow to orange, usually with a dark purple “eye”
............ ........11 Plant an herb; leaves cuneate to rounded at the base; flowers white to various shades of blue or pink.
............ ..........12 Flowers axillary, solitary.
............ ............ 13 Calyx lobes linear-aristate; anther sacs awned or pointed at the base
............ ............ 13 Calyx lobes lanceolate or linear; anther sacs blunt
............ ..........12 Flowers in elongate terminal racemes
............ ............ ..14 Bracts in the inflorescence small, inconspicuous
............ ............ ..14 Bracts in the inflorescence large, conspicuous

Key C7: rooted aquatics with simple, cauline, opposite or whorled leaves

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1 Leaves whorled, most nodes with 3 or more leaves.
..2 Leaves strongly toothed to pectinate
..2 Leaves entire or finely toothed.
....3 Leaves tipped by a callus (visible at 10× magnification); leaf margins entire; flowers many, grouped in a terminal involucrate head; [Eudicots]
....3 Leaves not callus-tipped; leaf margins finely toothed or at least with conical protrusions remaining from the disintegration of better-developed deciduous teeth; flowers solitary on elongate, flexuous stalks; [Monocots]
1 Leaves opposite, no nodes with 3 or more leaves.
......4 Cauline leaves in 1 pair
......4 Cauline leaves in 2-many nodes.
........5 Leaves in 2-3 pairs, appearing verticillate; plants of marine waters; [of FL, MS, LA and southward]
........5 Leaves along stem at 2-many nodes; plants of fresh to brackish waters; [collectively widespread].
..........6 Flowers 3-merous; [Monocots].
............ 7 Leaf margins (or at least leaf sheaths) serrate or minutely spiny; fruits sessile, entire; leaves 5-15× as long as wide
............ 7 Leaf margins (including sheaths) entire; fruit stalked, dentate on one side; leaves >20× as long as wide
..........6 Flowers 4- or 5-merous; [Eudicots].
............ ..8 Leaves 1-12 cm long; flowers borne in axillary or terminal spikes or clusters
............ ..8 Leaves 0.5-3 (-5) cm long; flowers solitary, axillary.
............ ....9 Carpels 4-5, separate; fruit an aggregate of follicles; leaves succulent
............ ....9 Carpels 2-5, fused; fruit capsular (variously dehiscent); leaves thin in texture or somewhat succulent (e.g. Bacopa in PLANTAGINACEAE).
............ ......10 Leaves dimorphic, the terminal leaves usually spatulate (strongly expanded towards the apex); corolla absent; stamen 1
............ ......10 Leaves monomorphic, obovate, oblanceolate, or parallel-margined; corolla present (absent in Didiplis in LYTHRACEAE); stamens 2-6.
............ ........11 Flower radially symmetrical, 3-4-merous; petals absent or separate
............ ..........12 Stems lacking ridges running down from leaf bases
............ ..........12 Stems with ridges running down from leaf bases
............ ........11 Flower bilaterally symmetrical, 4-5-merous; petals present, fused at least basally, forming a tube.
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