Abstract Barleria prionitis Linn. (Family: Acanthaceae) is a well-known perennial, Ayurvedic herb distributed in the tropical Asia, Africa and Yemen. The whole. B. prionitis is a fast growing perennial plant widely commercialized as an ornamental to be planted in open sunny areas in gardens, yards, and. Erect armed shrubs, spines ca. cm long. Leaves to x cm, elliptic, acute, mucronate, base cuneate, sparsely puberulus, ciliate on the margins, gland.

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If you are living in a subtropical area and looking for a fast growing, indigenous plant to solve your problem of planting open sunny areas in your garden, Barleria prionitis subsp. The leaves are elliptic to lanceolate with the upper halve tapering to a sharp pointed apex tip and the lower half tapering to a long or short petiole leaf stalk.

Spines are present narleria the leaf axils the angle between the stem and prionigis leaf stalk or a branch.

Barleria prionitis – Useful Tropical Plants

The flowers are pale yellow to orange, arranged in a loose or fairly dense terminal spike with the lower flowers solitary in the axils of the leaves, in late summer to autumn. The corolla petals of the flower is 2-lipped.

The upper lip is 4-lobed and bwrleria lower lip entire. The lower leaves in the inflorescence are more or less like the normal leaves and barldria upper leaves are usually much smaller. The bracteoles small leaf-like structures at the base of the flower taper to an acute apex.


It has a single seed capsule bearing two seeds. When the seed is ripe the fruit capsule explodes to distribute the seeds in different directions. Prionitis is Greek and means ‘like the holly’ or ‘saw-edged’, and the subspecies delagoensis was named after Delagoa Bay, the name for the Maputo area in southern Mozambique during the colonial days.

The genus Barleria is found in Asia, Africa and America.

It contains about species with about 70 species in Africa. Barleria species are exceptionally suitable for stabilizing soil erosion, landscaping water-wise gardens, rockeries and sunny areas in the garden. To prevent seeds being lost, it can be collected as the capsules turn brown. The seeds should be planted in trays in a mixture of two parts good soil and one part clean river sand.

Place them in a shady spot in narleria garden and water prioitis a week. Germination of the seeds takes place after a week.

Transplanting the seedlings into bags should be done when the seedlings are more or less mm high. Cuttings should be made in summer, and you should make use of softwood plant material. Take cuttings of mm length, treat them with a hormone powder and plant them in a mixture of equal parts good soil and river sand.


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Put the cuttings in a shady place and water twice a week. Transplant the rooted cuttings after about three months into a good soil mixture.

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View other plants in this family QR code link View other plants in this genus. Introduction If you are living in a subtropical area and looking for a fast growing, indigenous plant to solve your problem of planting open sunny areas in your garden, Barleria prionitis subsp.

Macmillan South Africa, Johannesburg. A dictionary of Botany. Annals of the Transvaal Museum 16, 3.

Perennial, Shrub SA Distribution: KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga Soil type: Sandy, Loam Flowering season: Late Summer, Autumn PH: Acid, Neutral Flower colour: Full Sun Gardening skill: Rate this plant Prionittis this an interesting plant? Google QR Code Generator. This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. What code is in the image? Leave this field blank.