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Genus: Hypoestes

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid I > Order: Lamiales > Family: Acanthaceae

About 40 species, found from Africa to Asia, East Indies and Australia, with three species native to southern Africa and a further two species which are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI) and Flora of Zimbabwe.

Hypoestes aristata (Ribbon Bush)

Lintbos, Seeroogblommetjie [Afrikaans]; idololenkonyane-elimhlophe, uhlonyane [Zulu])

Perennial herb with woody base (i.e. suffrutex), growing to height of 1.5 m. Distribution in southern Africa: South Africa > Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo; Swaziland, Zimbabwe. See Pooley (1998: 436); Joffe (2001: 162).

See Flora of Zimbabwe

Hypoestes aristata (Ribbon Bush)

Hypoestes forskaolii (White Ribbon Bush)

Perennial herb growing to height of 1 m. Distribution in southern Africa: South Africa > Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, Gauteng; Free State; Swaziland; Botswana; Namibia, Zimbabwe. See Pooley (1998: 200); van Wyk & Malan (1997: 32).

See Flora of Zimbabwe

Hypoestes triflora

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Hypoestes phyllostachya (Freckleface, Polka-dot plant)

Native to Madagascar.


Hypoestes sanguinolenta

Native to Madagascar.



  • Balkwill, K. & Getliffe Norris, F. 1985. Taxonomic studies in the Acanthaceae: the genus Hypoestes in southern Africa. South African Journal of Botany 51: 133-144.

  • Joffe, P. 2001. Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants. A South African Guide. Briza Publications, Pretoria.

  • Pooley, E. 1998. A Field Guide to Wild Flowers KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

  • van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. 1997. Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Highveld. 2nd edition. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.

  • Welman, W.G. 2003. Acanthaceae. In Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds), Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14: 92-106. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria. 


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