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Taxon level Family
Taxon name Acanthaceae
Closely related taxa
Taxon details The family Acanthaceae (or Acanthus family) is one of the most successful Angiosperm dicot taxon. It contains almost 250 genera and 2500-4000 species. These species are mostly distributed in the tropics as herbs, shrubs, or twining vines; some are epiphytes. The representatives of the family can be found in nearly every habitat, including dense or open forests, in scrublands, on wet fields and valleys, at the sea coast and in marine areas, and in swamps and as an element of mangrove woods. Wikipedia
Taxon morphology details Plants in this family have simple, opposite, decussate leaves with entire (or sometimes toothed, lobed, or spiny) margins, and without stipules. The leaves may contain cystoliths, calcium carbonate concretions, seen as streaks on the surface.

The flowers are perfect, zygomorphic to nearly actinomorphic, and arranged in an inflorescence that is either a spike, raceme, or cyme. Typically there is a colorful bract subtending each flower; in some species the bract is large and showy. The calyx is usually 4-5 lobed; the corolla tubular, 2-lipped or 5-lobed; stamens either 2 or 4 arranged in pairs and inserted on the corolla; and the ovary superior, 2-carpellate, with axile placentation.

The fruit is a two-celled capsule, dehiscing somewhat explosively. In most species, the seeds are attached to a small, hooked stalk (a modified funiculus called a jaculator) that ejects them from the capsule.

Species belonging to this taxon Andrographis paniculata, Barleria prionitis (Porcupine flower), Hygrophila auriculata (Hygrophila, Temple plant, Marsh Barbel), Justicia adhatoda (Malabar Nut), Justicia procumbens (Water willow, Shrimp plant), Phlogacanthus curviflorus (Wild Nongmangkha), Phlogacanthus thyrsiformis

Wikipedia (Web): Wikipedia Acanthaceae entry, Accessdate=2010-10-02