Asteracantha Nees: 75 (1832). Hemigraphis Nees in part: 722 (1847).
Herbs, often glandular. Leaves linear to lanceolate or ovate, entire. Inflorescence axillary; dichasial cymes or solitary flowers; pedicels present or very short; bracts resembling leaves; bracteoles 0. Calyx lobes 4; subregular; tube shorter than lobes. Corolla 2-lipped, subregular or irregular; upper lip 2-lobed, with lobes recurved, sometimes bifid, rugula distinct; lower lip 3-lobed, with lobes strongly reflexed; aestivation imbricate; tube longer than lobes, cylindric below, widening above, sometimes somewhat saccate on widened portion. Androecium: fertile stamens 4; filaments didynamous, arising in pairs, usually broadly linear, sometimes with coarse setae, arising +/- in middle of corolla tube or in mouth or on base of upper lip; anthers 2-thecous; thecae parallel, muticous; staminodes 0. Disc deeply cupular. Gynoecium: ovary oblong or linear-oblong, with 10-13 ovules in each locule; style terete-filiform, +/- exserted, running in rugula; style branch 1; ventral lobe flattened. Capsule linear or linear-oblong, estipitate, with inelastic placental bases. Pollen prolate, 3-colporate, with many pseudocolpi; surface reticulate. Seeds compressed, with hygroscopic hairs over whole surface. x = 16 (11, 17) (polyploidy).
Species +/- 100, tropics generally; 9 in sthn Afr., N Namibia and Bo- tswana, Swaziland and eastern provinces of South Africa.
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