Acanthus Acanthaceae - Home Care

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Acanthus Acanthaceae - Home Care
Acanthus Acanthaceae - Home Care
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A family of dicotyledonous plants of the order Lacustaceae. These are mainly grasses, semi-shrubs and shrubs, sometimes small trees. You can find lianas, xerophytes, marsh plants (Avicennia) among the acanthus. In nature, there are about 250 genera, including almost 2800 species.

The acanthus is very widespread - tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres. Mostly these are humid forests, from 1600 to 2000 m above sea level, sometimes floodplains of rivers, and in some xerophytes (Petalidium Petalidium) - arid regions of Africa or Asia. Many acanthus plants received their vocation as indoor plants, and more often as greenhouse plants. Among the acanthus there are both decorative deciduous and decorative flowering plants.

Barleria
Barleria
Avicenia
Avicenia
Thunbergia
Thunbergia

The leaves are simple, whole or pinnate, elliptical or ovoid, oppositely arranged on the stems. Flowers are zygomorphic, solitary or collected in inflorescences, often spike-shaped. In many species, flowers have bright large bracts. The calyx is usually 4-5 lobed, with a tubular corolla, in some species the corolla is two-lipped (pachistachis) or five-lobed (tunbergia, erantemum). Two or four stamens (in two pairs). The ovary is superior, two-celled. The fruit is a two-celled capsule that opens like a shell with two valves. The peculiarities of the opening of the capsule and the spread of seeds were studied by botanists with particular care. It turned out that the acanthus seed has a small hooked outgrowth, inside the fruit it is strongly compressed, bent in the manner of a spring. The fruit coat dries unevenly during ripening, cracks in places,at one point, the hooks straighten out, and the seeds shoot out of the burst shell, scattering in all directions. In addition, this small hook can cling to the fur of animals, and seeds are carried over long distances.

The Acanthaceae family includes four subfamilies:

  • Acanthoideae is the most numerous subfamily, it includes several subtribes: Acantheae, Andrographideae, Barlerieae, Justicieae, Ruellieae, Whitfieldieae, each of which includes several genera.
  • Aviceniae Avicennioideae (the only genus Avicennia (mangrove)).
  • Nilsonium Nelsonioideae (includes the genus: Anisosepalum, Elytraria, Gynocraterium, Nelsonia, Ophiorrhiziphyllon, Saintpauliopsis, Staurogyne);
  • Thunbergioideae (includes the genus: Anomacanthus, Mendoncia, Meyenia, Pseudocalyx, Thunbergia).

Acanthus care

  • Moderately warm content, acanthus does not tolerate summer heat well. At temperatures above 28 degrees, thin leaves evaporate too much moisture, you need to monitor watering and increase air humidity. In winter, most acanthus also prefer moderate temperatures of 15-16 ° C, but not lower than 12 ° C.
  • The need for sunlight in most acanthus can be characterized as follows: "Bright diffused light." At the same time, some of them require a certain amount of direct sunlight, such as beloperone, others, like Fittonia, lose their color under too intense lighting. The most ideal place is the eastern window sill. Plants near the south window are hot and may burn out. But if the south window is open for ventilation, and the sun shades a light veil or organza, acanthus grows beautifully. Many of the acanthus grow well on northern windowsills. Such windows are especially successful for non-flowering Fittonias.
  • Acanthus, like most tropical plants, love humid air. Small pots are best placed on wide trays with damp peat or sphagnum moss. If there are central heating batteries nearby, the flow of hot air must be isolated from them - cover the batteries with wet sheets or fence off the window sill along the edge with foil or glass.
  • Watering is usually plentiful in summer, as soon as the top layer of the earth dries out. In winter, moderate - after the top layer of the earth dries up, wait 2-3 days with the next watering. In any case, the soil in the back of the pot should not dry out to dust.

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