Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key to Acanthaceae

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