Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Brillantaisia owariensis
P. Beauv., Acanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Perennial or shrubby herb, usually glandular and sticky; stems up to 2 m tall, erect or rooting at base, glabrous to crisped-puberulous, sometimes also with long pilose hairs. Leaves with petiole up to 14 (-17) cm long; lamina ovate-cordiform or broadly so, largest 11-28≈6-20 cm, apex acuminate, sometimes drawn out into a short obtuse tip, base cuneate to cordate, margin regularly to irregularly and sometimes grossly crenate-dentate (rarely subentire), glabrous to densely crisped-puberulous on veins, glabrous to sparsely puberulous on lamina. Panicle from very lax to narrow and contracted, (5-) 10-45 cm long, finely puberulous and with usually dense broad glandular hairs, often also with long pilose hairs; primary bracts green to purplish, ovate to elliptic or obovate, from leaf-size to 10≈3 mm near apex, finely puberulous and with long pilose hairs, towards apex with stalked capitate glands; secondary bracts lanceolate to elliptic, 5-18≈2-5 mm; pedicels 0.5-7 (-11) mm long. Calyx dark purple, with dense capitate glands, ± puberulous hairs and ± scattered pilose hairs; lobes linear-lanceolate, tapering gradually to distinctly spathulate, ventral and lateral (8-) 12-19 mm long, dorsal (10-) 14-21 mm long. Corolla pale to deep mauve, pale to deep purple or blue to dark blue with white throat, (25-) 30-53 mm long, with purple to dark purple glandular hairs; tube 7-14 mm long; lower lip 20-38 mm long, lobes 2-5 mm long, ovate, subacute (lateral) or rounded. Filaments and style white; anthers black, (5-) 6-9 (-11) mm long, hairy along connective; staminodes filiform, 10-15 mm long, widened apically. Capsule (17-) 20-35 mm long, the valves 2-3 mm wide, glandular-puberulous and usually with longer non-glandular hairs. Seed ± 1.5 mm long"  (Vollesen, 2008).

Habitat/ecology:  "Commonly planted in gardens in Mauritius and La Réunion where it is locally naturalized on roadsides in mid-elevation secondary rain forest"  (Meyer & Lavergne, 2004; pp. 337-338).

Propagation:  Vegetatively (Meyer & Lavergne, 2004; p. 344).

Native range:  Forest regions of West and Central Africa, east to SE Sudan and south to N Angola, (750-) 900-1850 m (Vollesen, 2008).


Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Lavergne, Christophe (2004) (p. 337)
Locally naturalized.
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Lavergne, Christophe (2004) (p. 337)
Locally naturalized.

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This page was created on 23 MAR 2013 and was last updated on 1 APR 2013.