Under Construction


Lucinda A. McDade and Carrie Kiel
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Note: this taxon list is still under construction. It does not yet contain all known Crossandra subgroups.

The list above includes only taxa that were sampled by McDade et al. (2005).  There are other species of Crossandra that likely belong to this clade but this needs to be confirmed with further study.
Containing group: Acantheae


Crossandra is a genus of 52 species that occur in Africa, Madagascar, Arabia and the Indian subcontinent. A number of species of this genus, notably C. infundibuliformis, are cultivated owing to their beautiful and often brightly colored flowers. 

Like other members of the One-lipped Corolla Lineage (i.e., as indicated in the phylogeny of Acantheae, all lineages from Crossandra through the Acanthus clade), the corollas of plants of Crossandra have all five lobes of the corolla directed ventrally.  The tube is of the same length dorsally and ventrally (which distinguishes these plants from the crown clade of Acantheae [i.e., Cynarospermum through Acanthus clade]) and the stamens are almost always included within the tube (which distinguishes Crossandra from all other members of the One-Lipped Corolla Lineage except Crossandrella). Vollesen (1990) suggested that the 2-veined and 2-toothed dorsal calyx lobe is a diagnostic morphological character for at least the African species of Crossandra.  However, this character is sometimes hard to detect and is apparently lacking or dimorphic in some Malagasy species (Vollesen 1997).


McDade, L. A., T. F. Daniel, C. A. Kiel, and K. Vollesen. 2005. Phylogenetic relatinships among Acantheae (Acanthaceae): Major lineages present contrasting patterns of molecular evolution and morphological differentiation. Systematic Botany 30: 834-862.

Vollesen, K. 1990. The genus Crossandra (Acanthaceae) in the African continent. Kew Bulletin 45: 503-534.

Vollesen, K. 1997. Synopsis of the genus Crossandra (Acanthaceae) in Madagascar. Kew Bulletin 52: 379-415.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Crossandra nilotica Oliv.
Location Tsombitse Park, Tana, Malagasy Republic, Cultivated
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Copyright © 2006
Scientific Name Crossandra infundibuliformis Nees
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Copyright ©
About This Page

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, California, USA

Carrie Kiel
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Lucinda A. McDade at and Carrie Kiel at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

McDade, Lucinda A. and Carrie Kiel. 2006. Crossandra. Version 13 September 2006 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Crossandra/52318/2006.09.13 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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