Monographs Details: Justicia idiogenes Leonard
Authority: Leonard, Emery C. 1958. The Acanthaceae of Colombia, III. Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 31: 323-781.
Description:Latin Diagnosis - Suffrutex, caulibus subquadrangularibus, sursum dense hirsutis, pilis patulis, deorsum glabratis; lamina foliorum oblongo-elliptica, apice acuta vel acuminate (apica ipso obtuso), basi angustata, aliquanto firma, integra, supra glabra, subtus hirtella, pilis praecipue in costa et venis positis, curvatis, ascendentibus, cystolithis minutis, inconspicuis; petioli hirsuti; spicae axillares, solitariae vel binae, plus minusve curvatae, floribus secundis, pluribus et densis, rhache et pedunculo gracilibus, hirtellis; bracteae spathulatae, obtusae vel rotundatae, basi angustatae, aliquanto hirtellae of ciliatae; bracteolae similes sed paulo angustiore; calycis sementa lanceolato-subulata, glabra; corolla alba (interdum lilacina), parva, labiis subaequalibus, labio superiore erecto, ovato, apice subobtuso et emargianto, labio inferiore 3-lobato, plus minusve patulo, lobis ovatis, rotundatis; stamina vix exserta, lobis antherarum leviter superpositis, glabris, lobo inferiore calcarato, filamentis planis, capsulae parvae, clavatae, parts hirtellae; retinacula fere recta, apice tenuia; semina suborbicularia, plana, nigra, glabra.
Description - Shrubs up to 1.5 meters high; stems subquadrangular, up to 5 mm. in diameter, densely hirsute, the hairs coarse, spreading, up to 0.65 mm. long, the lower portions of the stems glabrate, leaf blades oblong-elliptic, up to 25.5 cm. long and 9 cm. wide, acute to subacuminate (the tip itself subobtuse), narrowed at base, rather firm, entire, the upper surface glabrous, the lower surface hirtellous, the hairs confined chiefly to costa and lateral veins, curved, ascending, about 0.2 mm. long, the venation rather prominent, more so beneath than above, the cystoliths minute and inconspicuous, blackish; petioles up to 13 mm. long, hirsute; spikes solitary or in pairs, axillary, subsessile, up to 6 cm. long, 5 mm. broad, more or less curved, the flowers secund, numerous, crowded, the rachis slender, hirtellous, the peduncle short; bracts spathulate, 4.25 mm. long, 1.5 mm. wide near tip, obtuse or rounded, narrowed and slender toward base, rather sparingly hirtellous and ciliolate; bractlets similar but narrower (0.75 mm. wide); calyx 4 mm. long, glabrous, the segments lance-subulate, about 0.25 mm. wide at base; flowers white (lilac and red-brown, Kitty 1813), 8 mm, long, glabrous, 1.5 mm, broad at base, 2.5 mm. broad at mouth, the lips subequal, 2.5 mm. long, the upper lip ovate, erect, 2 mm. wide near base, obtusish and emarginate at tip, the lower lip more or less spreading, 3-lobed, the lobes ovate, 1.5 mm. long, 0.5 mm. wide, rounded; stamens slightly exserted beyond the mouth of the corolla, tube, the anther lobes slightly superposed, 0.75 mm. long, 0.25 mm. broad, glabrous, the lower cell calcarate, the filaments flat and subhyaline; stigma slightly exceeding the upper lip of the corolla; capsules (Kitty 1813) clavate, sparingly hirtellous, 8 mm. long, 3.5 mm. broad, 1.5 mm. thick, the stipitate solid basal portion 1.25 mm. broad; retinacula 1.5 mm. long, nearly straight, the margins and tip thin; seeds suborbicular, flat, black, smooth.
Discussion:The following specimens also may be of this species: Klug's No. 1813, collected in the forests of Umbria, Comisaria of Putumayo, 325 meters altitude, October or November 1930, and Richard Evans Schultes' No. 3538, collected along the Río San Miguel, in the vicinity of Conejo, Putumayo, 300 meters altitude, April 2-5, 1942.
Klug's specimen differs from the type in its lilac and red-brown (not white) flowers and in the slightly wider and more slenderly stipitate bracts. It does not seem expedient, however, to assign specific or varietal rank to this plant until further material can be examined.
Schultes' specimen was taken from a large herb and was called in the Kofán vernacular, "chu-ru-ko-pu."