Barleria cristata

Barleria cristata L.

Common Names: Philippine Violet

Family: Acanthaceae

Habit: Barleria cristata grows as an herb to subshrub up to 1 m in height often with spines. The leaves are arranged oppositely, up to 8 cm in length and 6 cm wide, ovate/elliptic/lanceolate with an acuminate leaf apex. The leaves and stems are scabrous.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in few flowered axillary and terminal spikes or racemes. Each flower subtended by a bract. The calyx has 4, blue to white, sepals that are slightly fused at their base.  The corolla has 5 fused, white/pink or blue (often variegated) petals in 2 sets (2 upper petals and 3 lower petals).  There are 4 stamens (2 long, 2 short) and 1 staminode and are fused to the corolla tube.  The superior ovary has 2 locules and numerous ovules. The fruit is a capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Barleria cristata grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens).

Distribution: Barleria cristata is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago. It is native to the Indian subcontinent.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Barleria cristata is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is used in horticulture.