Asystasia intrusa (Forssk.) Blume

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Asystasia intrusa

Photo: Brian Rode
Ngamiland Concession 22 - Vumbura, Okavango Delta

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Synonyms: Asystasia coromandeliana Nees
Asystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anderson subsp. micrantha (Nees) Ensermu
Asystasia pinguifolia T. Edwards
Justicia gangetica L.
Common names: Chinese violet (English)
Status: Native
Erect or scrambling perennial, up to c. 1 m. Leaves opposite, ovate, occasionally finely hairy; margin entire. Flowers in a terminal, often one-sided raceme, white to pale mauve-blue with purple markings in the lower lip.
Notes: This was long known under the name Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha. That species occurs in tropical Asia and the Pacific. It is a slightly more shrubby herb with larger purple flowers. It is sometimes used as an cultivated ornamental plant in tropical Africa but only rarely known as an escape.
Derivation of specific name: intrusa: intrusive, referring to the often weedy habit of this species.
Habitat: In a variety of habitats, often in light shade.
Flowering time:Any time, mostly Nov - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands and tropical Arabia.
Botswana distribution: N
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Junonia oenone oenone (Food plant)
Junonia natalitica natalitica (Food plant)
Salamis parhassus (Food plant)
Hypolimnas misippus (Food plant)
Junonia hierta cebrene (Food plant)
Junonia terea elgiva (Food plant)
Salamis anacardii nebulosa (Food plant)
Astictopterus stellata mineni (Larval food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Sunday 18 October 2015

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Pages 188 - 189. As Asystasia gangetica (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 138 - 139. as Asystasia gangetica (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 8. as Asystasia gangetica gangetica

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 18. As Asystasia gangetica

Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2010). Acanthaceae (Part 2) Flora of Tropical East Africa Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Pages 457 - 460. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha (Includes a picture).

Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2015). Acanthaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 8(6) Pages 126 - 128. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 324. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha (Includes a picture).

Kelbessa, E. (1994). A Revision of Asystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anders (Acanthaceae) Proceedings of the XIIIth Plenary Meeting AETFAT, Malawi 1 Pages 333 - 346. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 13. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. gangetica

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 12. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 17. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 23. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 33. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 193. as Asystasia gangetica

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 87. as Asystasia gangetica subsp. micrantha

Other sources of information about Asystasia intrusa:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Asystasia intrusa
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Asystasia intrusa
Flora of Malawi: Asystasia intrusa
Flora of Mozambique: Asystasia intrusa
Flora of Zambia: Asystasia intrusa
Flora of Zimbabwe: Asystasia intrusa

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Asystasia intrusa
African Plant Database: Asystasia intrusa
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Asystasia intrusa
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Asystasia intrusa
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Asystasia intrusa
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Asystasia intrusa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Asystasia intrusa
JSTOR Plant Science: Asystasia intrusa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Asystasia intrusa
Plants of the World Online: Asystasia intrusa
Tropicos: Asystasia intrusa
Wikipedia: Asystasia intrusa

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Asystasia intrusa., retrieved 25 May 2024

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