Ruellia carnea

Ruellia_carnea_portion of holotype at Kew

What you get is what you get… in this case, not even an image of the species, but merely an image of the holotype of the species, which will have to do (and not even the ENTIRE holotype at that! …. not my fault… I have asked JSTOR Plants to make it easier for paying users such as myself to download high rez images of complete specimens…but so far I am told “it is not possible”).

In any case, consider yourself lucky to have even come this far. Ruellia carnea is a magnificent species that is one of many Acanthaceae that are endemic to the small Yemenese island of Socotra. Based on its stellate trichomes that paint the young leaves white, Ruellia carnea seems clearly allied to Ruellia nocturna and Ruellia discifolia, both of which are white-flowered, and night blooming compared to this red-flowered and day-blooming species. Other species in this phylogenetic neighborhood have similarly shaped and vestitured leaves, such as Ruellia bignoniiflora.

If you have plans to travel to Socotra anytime in the next 50 years, please: TAKE ME WITH YOU.

Photograph of the holotype, G. Schweinfurth 714, Kew.

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