Under Construction

Blechum clade

Erin Tripp
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Note: this taxon list is still under construction. It does not yet contain all known Blechum clade subgroups.

Containing group: Ruellia s. l.


The Blechum clade contains species of Blechum that are distributed widely across the neotropics, as well as species of Ruellia that are endemic to Mexico (see species list below). Tripp's study (in press) showed that Blechum is nested within Ruellia, with strong support.

The close relationship of Blechum to Ruellia has long been noted, but the former has been recognized as distinct primarily on the basis of pollen characters and fruit morphology. While pollen does seem a useful character (in part), fruit as well as other macromorphological characters fail to distinguish Blechum from Ruellia. McDade and Tripp (in press) transferred the two Costa Rican species of Blechum to Ruellia. A forthcoming manuscript (Tripp, Daniel, Lendemer & McDade in prep.) further discusses this topic and places the entire genus Blechum into synonymy with Ruellia.


McDade, L. A. and E. A. Tripp. Synopsis of Costa Rican Ruellia L. (Acanthaceae): New species, taxonomic concepts, a country record, range extensions, and identification aids to the 22 species known from the country. Brittonia, in press.

Tripp, E. A. Evolutionary relationships within the species-rich genus Ruellia (Acanthaceae). Systematic Botany, in press.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Blechum pyramidatum (Lam.) Urb.
Location Tabasco, Mexico
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Collector E. Tripp
Copyright ©
Scientific Name Blechum pyramidatum (Lam.) Urb.
Location Rio Pirre, Darien, Panama
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By L. A. McDade
Copyright © 2006
Scientific Name Blechum costaricense Oerst.
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Copyright © L. Gilbert, UT Austin
Scientific Name Ruellia maya T.F. Daniel
Copyright ©
Scientific Name Ruellia longepetiolata (Oerst.) Hemsl.
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Erin A. Tripp
Collection donated as living material to DUKE greenhouses
Copyright ©
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Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Erin Tripp at

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Citing this page:

Tripp, Erin. 2007. Blechum clade. Version 10 April 2007 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Blechum_clade/96989/2007.04.10 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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