Nelsonia canescens (Lam.) Spreng.

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Nelsonia canescens

Picture: Helen Pickering
Within the fenced area of the Victoria Falls, upstream

Nelsonia canescens

Picture: Helen Pickering
Within the fenced area of the Victoria Falls, upstream

Nelsonia canescens

Picture: Helen Pickering
Within the fenced area of the Victoria Falls, upstream

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Justicia canescens Lam.
Nelsonia campestris sensu Burkill
Nelsonia canescens (Lam.) Spreng. var. vestita (Roem. & Schult.) E. Hossain
Common names:
Status: Native
Decumbent to suberect perennial herb. Stems up to 35 cm long; most parts densely covered in soft spreading hairs. Leaves opposite elliptic; margin entire. Flowers in terminal cylindrical spikes, with ovate, glandular and hairy bracts. Corolla, 5-lobed, 2-lipped, mauve-blue, purplish or white. Capsule oblong, slightly beaked.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: canescens: greyish velvety or canescent
Habitat: In woodland, bushland and grassland, on floodplains and riverbanks, often in disturbed vegetation.
Altitude range: Up to 1600 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, Madagascar, India and Southeast Asia. Introduced to Central and South America.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Cb,N,E,C,Lk,S,W
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

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 19.

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 14.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 19.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 17. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 19.

Vollesen, K. (2013). Acanthaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 8(5) Pages 10 - 12. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Nelsonia canescens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Nelsonia canescens
Flora of Caprivi: Nelsonia canescens
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Nelsonia canescens
Flora of Malawi: Nelsonia canescens
Flora of Mozambique: Nelsonia canescens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Nelsonia canescens

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Nelsonia canescens., retrieved 19 July 2024

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