Barleria meyeriana

Family : Acanthaceae
Common name : Meyer's bushviolet (Eng.)

Barleria meyeriana is an ideal groundcover to cover areas with full sun in your garden.

Barleria meyeriana is an unarmed (without thorns) straggling herb up to 50 mm high.

Leaves: elliptic-lanceolate, base tapering into a short petiole (leaf stalk).Young stems reddish.

Barleria meyeriana flower Barleria meyeriana leaves
Barleria meyeriana flower
Barleria meyeriana leaves

Inflorescence: Flowers 1 to 3 clustered in the leaf axils. The corolla (petals of the flower) is 2-lipped. The upper lip is 4-lobed and the lower lip entire, lobes deeply divided. Flowers pale mauve to white with a few dark mauve streaks.

Flowering time: Barleria meyeriana flowers from February to May.

Fruit: The fruit capsules are long-beaked and bear 2 seeds. The ripe fruit capsules explode when they become wet to distribute the seeds in different directions.

Barleria meyeriana seeds Barleria meyeriana seeds

Conservation status
Least Concern (LC).

Distribution and habitat
Barleria meyeriana grows in open woodland, sometimes amongst grasses and shrubs, and has been collected in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces and in Swaziland.

Derivation of name and historical aspects
Barleria meyeriana is named after E. Meyer, a 19th century German botanist who wrote up a number of Ecklon & Zeyer collections.

Barleria meyeriana is pollinated by insects and attracts various species of butterflies.

Uses and cultural aspects
Barleria meyeriana is quite suitable for landscaping in water-wise gardens, on rockeries and in open sunny patches in your garden.

Growing Barleria meyeriana

Barleria myeriana is propagated either by seed or cuttings.

To prevent seed loss collect the seed as soon as the seed capsules turn brown. Plant the seed in a mixture of equal parts of river sand and good soil. Place the tray in a shady spot and water well once a week. Ideal soil and air temperature for optimal germination is between 20 and 28°C. Transplant the seedlings in separate pots when they are more or less 100 mm high.

Take softwood cuttings, 120 mm long, dip them in a hormone powder and plant them in a mixture of equal parts of good soil and river sand. The best temperatures for rooting cuttings are between 20 and 30°C. Place the container with cuttings in a cool shady place and water well twice a week. Transplant the rooted cuttings into a good soil mixture (after 3-5 months).

Pests and diseases|
There are no known pests or diseases that attack Barleria meyeriana.

References and further reading

  • Obermeyer, A.A. 1937. Annals of the Transvaal Museum 15,2: 123180.
  • Germishuizen, G., Meyer, N.L., Steenkamp,Y. & Keith, M. (eds) 2006. A checklist of South African plants. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 41. SABONET, Pretoria.
  • Pooley, E. 1998. A field guide to wild flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.
  • 011449

Dr. Hugh Glen for the information on the derivation of the species name.


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Lowveld National botanical Garden
May 2012







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