Aneilema mortonii Brenan
  • Brenan, Kew Bull. 22: 387 (1968)

This taxon is accepted by WCS higher taxonomy

General Description

An apparently annual herb with fibrous roots similar in habit to A. paludosum subsp. paludosum; leaves up to about 12 cm. long and 12 mm. broad; flowers white; in marshy savanna.

Herba ut videtur annua, diffusa, 45-60 cm. alta. Radices ut videtur omnes fibrosae, e nodis infimis caulis ortae. Caules satis crebre ramosi, graciles, brevitcter scabrido-pubescentes; internodia saepe elongata, mediana et inferiora 5-I 7 cm. longa. Folia ut videtur omnia caulina, lineari-ianceolata vel oblongo-lanceolata, saepius 5 -17 cm. longa, 0.5-1 cm. lata, utrinque breviter scabrido-pubescentia, apice attenuato-acutissima, basi in vaginam transeuntia sed haudquaquam angustata vel 'petiolata', marginibus more laminae superficiei vestitis; folia superiora longitudine decrescentia, suprema valde reducta; vaginae clausae, supremae brevissimae, inferiores usque ad 1.7 cm. longae et circiter 5 mm. latae, extra pilis longioribus basi conicis sparsis necnon aliis brevissimis pernumerosis pubescentes, ore ciliato. Infiorescentiae terminales, solitariae (sed caules superne saepe ramosi), ultra folium supremum 0.6-2.5 cm. longe pedunculatae, densae, breviter oblongae usque cylindricae, (1-) 1.5-4.5 cm. longae, 0.8-1.5 cm. latae; axis pilis densis ed minutissimis puberulus; rami laterales (i.e. pedunculi cincinnorum) 0.5- 1.5 mm. longi, secundum axem primariam dense conferti, puberuli; bracteae basi ramorum insertae, lineares vel oblongo-lineares, 4.5 mm. longae, circiter 0.5 mm. latae, apicem versus carinato-plicatae, acutae vel subacutae, dorso breviter pubescentes; bracteolae in cupulam minimam 0.5mm. longam apice rami lateralis cujusque positam mutatae; cincinni ipsi ut videtur omnes uniflori. Flares albi vel lilacini; pedicelli circiter 2.5-3 mm. longi, puberuli, apice deorsum curvati. Sepala 3, posticum 4 mm. longum, 1.5 mm. latum, apice late cucullatum et dorso insigniter incrassatoglandulosum necnon puberulum; duo antica 3.5 mm. longa, 3 mm. lata, apice late cucullata, dorso glabra et quam in postico minus incrassata. Petala 3, marcida tantum visa. Stamina fertilia antic a: duo lateralia filamentis circiter 2-5 mm. longis puberulis, antheris ellipsoideis I mm. longis 0.75 mm. latis; unum centrale filamento glabro, anthera oblonga 0.75 mm. longa, 0.5 mm. lata. Starninodia postica apice bicorpuscularia. Ovarium puberulum, stylo glabro circiter 1.75-2.75 mm. longo. Capsula bivalvata, nitida, extra brevissime et inconspicue pilosa, 3.5-4 mm. longa, 5 mm. lata, apice rotundato-emarginata, basi haud stipitata, cellulis epidermis plus minusve isodiametricis. Semina I pro loculo, subglobosa, circiter 2.25 mm. diametro, testa leviter costata aliter fere laevia, pallide brunnea.

Diagnostic Description

Although a very close relative of A. paludosurn, A. rnortonii differs apparently constantly in several correlated and important ways which are mentioned in the diagnosis above. It does not appear previously to have been noticed that A. paludosurn and A. mortonii show an extreme modification of the inflorescence that is unique in Aneilema. At first sight the inflorescence appears to be the usual sort of thyrse general in Aneilerna, but a closer inspection shows that the lateral branches, each one equivalent to the cymose structure known as a cincinnus, are each one-flowered. In other Aneilema species the cincinni are several-flowered, often with elongate main axes. Similar reduction of the individual cincinnus to a single flower is known elsewhere in Commelinaceae, for example in Murdannia, but it does not seem hitherto to have been noted in Aneilema. Aneilema mortonii was confused with A. paludosum A. Chev. subsp. paludosum by J. K. Morton in Journ. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 59: 44 7 (1966) : the specimens from Ghana there cited and the sheet shown on Plate I are all referable to A. mortonii.


in marshy savanna.


Ghana: Walewale (Dec.) Adams & Akpabla 4206! Lumbaga, Tamale (Dec.) Morton GC 6229! Pong Tamale (Doc.) Morton GC 9836! Yendi to Zabsugu (Dec.) Morton A1455! Attebubu (Nov.) Morton A2737!

GHANA. Akpabla 2026 (K) :-herb in open grassland. 3 km. from Walewale, scrambling among grasses beside pond, 7 Dec. I 950, Adams & Akpabla 4206 (K) :-45-60 cm. high; stems and leaves scabrid; flowers white. s km. before Lumbaga, Tamale, in marshy ground, Dec. I 951, Morton GC6229 (K; WAG) :-flowers white; anthers orange. s km. N. of Pong, Tamale, straggling in marshy savannah, I 2 Dec. I 953, Morton GC9836 (K, halotype) :-flowers white. By Yendi-Zabzugu road, 3I Dec. I954, Morton AI4SS (K; WAG) :-flowers large, pale mauve. S. of Attebubu, in wet savannah, IO Nov. I957, Morton A2737 (K) :-a large straggling plant; flowers white, large; anthers yellow.


in Kew Bull. 22: 387 (1968).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa West Tropical Africa Ghana
  • Togo


  • 1 Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
  • 2 Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • 3 Brenan, J.P.M. Notes on African Commelinaceae: VII. New or Noteworthy Taxa from West Tropical Africa. Kew Bulletin 22, pp. 387-392 (1968).

 Information From

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet;
WCS higher taxonomy
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World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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