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Acanthaceae (Justiciaceae, Thomandersiaceae) Mostly herbaceous perennials, some aquatics, climbers, shrubs, trees, and epiphytes. Leaves are opposite (decussate) exstipulate and sometimes spiny. Cystoliths very commonly present (showing as streaks in the lamina). Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Inflorescences commonly dichasial cymes, becoming monochasial in the ultimate branches, and frequently condensed in the leaf axils. Flowers tetracyclic. Corolla imbricate (ascending cochlear or quincuncial), or contorted (left or right), or with open aestivation (only in Acanthus?); bilabiate, or unequal but not bilabiate (the upper lip sometimes suppressed). Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Fruit elastically dehiscent. Dispersal unit the seed. Seeds non-endospermic. Peculiar feature. The seeds on elongated, indurated, hook-shaped funicles (‘retinacula’). Geography, cytology. Holarctic, Paleotropical, Neotropical, Cape, and Australian. Temperate to tropical (mainly tropical). Centred on Indomalaysia, Africa, Brazil and central America. Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Lamiiflorae; Scrophulariales. Cronquist’s Subclass Asteridae; Scrophulariales. APG (1998) Eudicot; core Eudicot; Asterid; Euasterid I; Lamiales. Economic uses, etc. A few cultivated ornamentals: Acanthus, Aphelandra, Fittonia, Beloperone, Justicia, etc.