Acanthodium Delile: t. 33 (1813) in part. Blepharacanthus Nees: 385 (1836).
Procumbent annual or perennial herbs or suffrutices. Leaves often in unequal pairs, sometimes spinous-toothed. Inflorescence terminal, spicate, decussate, or scorpioid cymes, sometimes reduced; bracts 8, usually spinous-toothed, accrescent; bracteoles resembling bracts, sometimes 0. Calyx irregular; lobes 4; anticous one emarginate, bifid or bispinose and posticous one larger; lateral lobes 2, small; tube shorter than lobes. Corolla 1-lipped; lip usually with reflexed hairs on both sides; lobes usually 3-5, variable, with laterals smaller than others or obsolete; aestivation imbricate; tube shorter than lobes, subcylindric, with ring of hairs in mouth. Androecium: fertile stamens 4, equal, arising in mouth of corolla tube; filaments terete, with those of anticous stamens flattened above and produced into a protuberance as long as or shorter than anthers; anthers monothecous; theca ciliate, muticous; staminodes 0. Pollen prolate, 3-colpate; surface with shallow reticulations. Disc annular or saucer-shaped. Gynoecium: ovary +/- ellipsoid, with 1 or 2 ovules in each locule, with 2 glandular bodies or cap at apex; style linear; style branches 2, equal, very short, broader than long. Capsule estipitate, with inelastic placental bases. Seeds laterally compressed, ovate, with long, feathery, hygroscopic hairs over whole surface. x = 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 23.
Species +/- 80, Africa to East Indies, also Mediterranean; +/- 45 in sthn Afr., widespread, but mostly in arid parts.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith