Ruellia anthracina

Ruellia_anthracina

I am so incredibly envious of any and all of you who have had the fortune of seeing this one alive / in the field. I think I’ve been having dreams about it for at least a decade now – ever since Lucinda told me there was a black-flowered Acanth. Yep – black. Even the herbarium labels say such. Some overly committed anthocyanin accumulation in the flowers of this Panamanian endemic. Desperately seeking gene upregulation study.

I have no idea where this species ‘goes’ phylogenetically. Based on inflorescence structure, I’d not be surprised if it wound up in the (*gasp*) Ruellia blechum clade of all places…

Wild collected, Panama, Gentry #5691 (MO); Photo from STRI website

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