Shrublets, sometimes with prostrate branches, usually with woody rootstock. Leaves entire to faintly toothed. Inflorescence axillary, spicate, dense, unilateral; bracts sometimes spinescent; bracteoles 0. Calyx irregular, 2-lipped, pilose; upper lip 3-fid; lower lip 2-fid; tube shorter than lobes. Corolla subregular; lobes 5, triangular; aestivation induplicate; tube longer than lobes, +/- funnel-shaped, with reflexed hairs inside and outside. Androecium: fertile stamens 4, didynamous; filaments arising in pairs in upper part of corolla tube, scarcely longer than anthers, included, bifurcate; upper pair of anthers 2-thecous; lower pair monothecous or with rudimentary second theca; thecae parallel, ciliate, muticous; staminodes 0. Pollen spheroidal, 3-colporate; surface foveolate. Disc annular. Gynoecium: ovary oblong in outline, with 2, or occasionally 1, ovules in each locule; style terete, included; stigma with a single flattened lobe, longer than broad. Capsule ovoid, compressed, with beak, estipitate, with inelastic placental bases. Seeds discoid, with hygroscopic hairs over whole surface.
Species +/- 20, Africa, Arabian Peninsula to India; 1 in sthn Afr.: Neuracanthusafricanus S.Moore, Northern Province.
Shrublets or procumbent, perennial herbs. Leaves varying from ovate to linear. Inflorescence axillary, scorpioid or dichasial cymes, with few to many flowers; lower bracts present or 0, ultimate 2 bracts large, enclosing calyx. Calyx regular, glandular; lobes 4 or 5, when 4 then anticous one usually bifid or 2-toothed and lateral ones smaller; tube shorter than lobes. Corolla +/- 2-lipped; upper lip 2-lobed; lower lip 3-lobed, with palate transversely ribbed and furnished with retrorse hairs; lobes obovate, obtuse or emarginate; aestivation contorted; rugula indistinct; tube longer than lobes, straight or curved, usually cylindric below and campanulate above. Androecium: fertile stamens 4, didynamous, arising at +/- middle of corolla tube, included; filaments arising in pairs, broadly linear; anthers 2-thecous; thecae parallel, muticous or mucronate at base; staminodes 0. Pollen prolate, 3-porate, with pseudocolpi; pore lipped; surface reticulate. Disc annular. Gynoecium: ovary with 2 ovules in each locule; style terete, pubescent; style branches 2, equal, cylindriform. Capsule estipitate, compressed, narrowed at base and apex, with elastic placental bases. Seeds orbicular, with hygroscopic hairs over whole surface. x = 8 (polyploidy).
Species +/- 35, Africa to India; 28 in sthn Afr., mainly Namibia, Bo- tswana and arid northern and western parts of South Africa.
Scrambling or erect. Leaves: usually leaves of each pair unequal. Inflorescence axillary, partially reduced dichasial cymes subtended by a foliaceous bract. Calyx irregular, 2-lipped; upper lip of 4 lobes and lower of 1 much enlarged lobe, glandular-hairy, persistent; tube shorter than lobes. Corolla +/- 2-lipped; upper lip 2-lobed; lower 3-lobed; lobes oblong or spatulate; aestivation contorted; rugula indistinct; tube longer than lobes, curved. Androecium: fertile stamens 4, didynamous, arising +/- at middle of corolla tube, included; filaments arising in pairs, linear; anthers 2-thecous; thecae parallel, muticous and sometimes mucronate at base; staminodes 0. Pollen prolate, 3-(col)porate, with pseudocolpi; pore lipped; surface reticulate. Disc annular, with projection that might represent a fifth stamen. Gynoecium: ovary ellipsoid, with 2 ovules in each locule; style terete, finely pilose; style branch 1; ventral lobe sometimes expanded. Capsule estipitate, with elastic placental bases. Seeds compressed orbicular, with hygroscopic hairs over whole surface. x = 17 (1 report).
Species +/- 20, Africa to India; 3 in sthn Afr., N Namibia, Swaziland and northern and eastern provinces of South Africa.
Acaulescent perennial herbs with a subhorizontal rhizome and fleshy roots. Leaves rosulate, simple, ovate or cordate, petiolate, discolorous, crenate. Flowers solitary, pedicelled. Male flowers: sepals 5, linear, almost as long as corolla and adnate to it for almost its whole length; corolla 5-lobed, profusely veined, tube deeply campanulate, lobes shorter than tube, reflexed; glands 5, fleshy, situated at base of corolla tube; stamens 5, filaments arising in throat of corolla, shorter than anthers, flattened, anthers didymous with broad connective, pectinate. Female flowers: sepals 4 or 5, linear, adnate to corolla for half their length; corolla 4- or 5-lobed, tube campanulate, lobes much shorter than tube, transversely oblong, erect; glands 4 or 5, fleshy, situated at base of corolla tube; ovary sessile, with 10-15 ovules on 4 or 5 parietal placentas; style broadly linear, 4- or 5-lobed. Fruit a 4- or 5-valved capsule, enclosed in persistent corolla. Seeds several, ellipsoid, arillate.
Monotypic: Guthriea capensis Bolus, endemic to sthn Afr., damp, mountainous situations, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, NE Western and Eastern Cape.
Aizoon L. subgen. Acrosanthes D.Dietr.: 180 (1847).
Prostrate to sprawling perennial undershrubs, branching dichasial with one branch dominant; stems woody at base. Leaves opposite, +/- fleshy, glabrous; stipules 0. Inflorescence on suppressed dichasial branches, seemingly lateral, probably on well-developed vegetative base. Flowers perigynous, bisexual, small, pedunculate, solitary at nodes. Perianth 5-lobed with dorsal appendages; tube short, turbinate; lobes somewhat fleshy. Stamens 8-many, sometimes in groups. Ovary superior, incompletely divided by basal septum into 2 locules, each with 1 basal ovule; stigmas 2, short. Fruit axerochastic capsule, persisting in perianth tube. Seeds reniform to orbicular; testa rugose to tuberculate, sometimes with an aril.
Aizoon L. subgen. Aizoanthemum (Dinter ex Friedrich) Adamson: 44 (l959b).
Annual, variably papillose, prostrate or ascending, much-branched herbs. Leaves alternate, densely papillose, sessile or petiolate, +/- fleshy; stipules 0. Flowers perigynous, bisexual, solitary, terminal, often sessile in fork of branches. Stamens many; filaments connate, flattened towards base. Ovary superior, 5-10-locular, with 2-many pendulous ovules per locule. Fruit a capsule with rounded top, opening completely hygrochastically by long expanding keels reaching from centre of fruit to tip of valve. Seeds reniform, with concentric ridges, light to dark brown. x= 8 (1 report).
Perennial or annual herbs or undershrubs, all parts variably pubescent. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, often crowded, petiolate or sessile, flat to cylindrical; stipules 0. Inflorescence mostly frondose. Flowers bisexual, often seemingly solitary or in axillary groups. Perianth 4- or 5-lobed; tube +/- campanulate, sometimes short, often strigose; lobes valvate or imbricate, white inside, yellow or pink outside. Stamens few to many, arising from calyx throat, in groups alternating with calyx lobes; filaments filiform. Ovary superior, 4- or 5-locular, sometimes discoid, included in calyx tube, with 2-many pendulous ovules per locule. Fruit a capsule with central impression, somewhat corky or woody, expanding keels long or short, lifting valves only slightly. Seeds small, pear-shaped or reniform, on long funicle, with concentric ridges. x= 8.
Species +/- 25, Mediterranean; 11 in sthn Afr., often introduced as weed into suitable climates, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern, Western and Eastern Cape.