ACANTHACEAE – Dyschoriste – Dyschoriste hygrophyllodes, Dyschoriste species




Acanthaceae includes approximately 256 genera of perennial herbs, shrubs, and climbers, which are widely distributed in warm tem- perate an tropical regions. Leaves are in opposite pairs, often at right angles to the pair above and below (decussate) an stems are often 4 – angled. Flowers are bisexual and bi – laterally symmetrical. The sepals and petals are fused at their bases. Upper and lower petals are some- times elongated into lips. Bracts are often more showy than the tu- bular on funnel- shapdd flowers. The fruit in a dry capsule that, in cenrtain species, opens explosively to scatter the seed. The shrubby species described here can be used to create informal nat – ural beds in the English perennial garden style or  may be lightly clipped as specimen plants or hedges. Most are suitable for con- tainers. For those that require even moisture, a thick layer of mulch greathly reduces the amount of irri – gation needed.


Dyschoriste includes approximately 65 species of annual and perennial  herbs and evergreen shrubs , which are widely distributed in the tropics. One or 2 species are occasionally found in cultivation. The species are poorly defined. Dyschoriste species is misrepresented in the trade as dwarf barleria or dwarf philippine violet. It si only distantly related to Barleria cristata commonly known as philippine villet.  The fact that neither species is from the philippine is another story.

Dyschoriste hygrophyllodes

Bridal – flower

Synonym: Calophanes hygrophyloides. Brazil. Evergreen subshrub 4-6 ft, zones: 9-11. Blooms spring, summer. Regular moisture. Average, well – drained soil. Full to part sun. Flowers: trumpet purple with darker purple markings in the throat: solitary or in small clusters in the leaf axils. Leaves: ovate to subor-bicular, to 1 in. long, petioles short. Denser spreading shrub. Suitable for informal hedges. Note differing spelling of species and synonym.

Dyschoriste species

Foxtall violet

Orgins obscure (possibly old world tropics). Evergreen shrub, 1-2 ft, zones 10-11. Blooms intermittently winter, spring, summer .  Moderate moisture. Average – well drained soil. Full to part sun. Flowers: funnel – shaped, lips elongated, to about 1 in. wide, violet with darker streaks in the throat, solitary. Leaves: ovate to obovate about 1 in.long, sessile, densely clustered on woody, trailing to decumbent branches. An unnamed species with bushy foxtail – like sprawling over rocks and walls. Prune to shape. suitable for hanging baskets and as ground cover.

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