Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Brillantaisia lamium
Benth, Acanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Reject, score: 16 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Leucorhaphis lamium Nees

Habit:  herb


Genus: "Lamina lanceolate, with ascending lateral nerves, gradually acuminate, acute at base, 7-10 cm long, 1-2.5 cm broad, with very numerous rod-like cystoliths beneath, serrulate; petiole about 1 cm long; panicle small, few-flowered, about 10 cm long; calyx-segments unequal, the longest 6 mm long, glandular; corolla 2 cm long."

Species: "A coarse herb, erect branched 2-4 ft. high, more or less pilose at first, with blue- or violet-purple flowers 1-1 1/4 in. long in a glandular-pubescent panicle; in damp places"  (Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1963; pp. 405-406).

"Erect branched herb to about 1.5 m high. Stems with long soft weak hairs. Leaves to 11 cm long and to 7 cm wide, margins finely-toothed, with long soft weak hairs on both surfaces; lower leaves on a stalk about 1 cm long, upper leaves lacking a stalk. Flowers with joined petals (corolla) in a tube for about 6 mm. Capsule about 3 cm long and containing about 20 seeds in each half.  Distinguished by absence of spines, 4-angled stems and heart-shaped leaves; flowers in few-flowered panicles; flowers surrounded at base by calyx with lobes nearly equal in length, about 6 mm long and having some glandular hairs, corolla blue-violet, about 2 cm long; 2 stamens with anthers protected by hood of corolla and 2 infertile stamen-like staminodes within corolla tube and densely glandular; capsule cigar-shaped"  (Weeds Australia).

Habitat/ecology:  Moist tropical areas, both in full sun and partial shade. "Weedy in western Africa, where it colonises recently disturbed land and occasionally forms large, monospecific stands.  It prefers tropical climates... It is likely to be an opportunistic species that could rapidly colonise disturbed areas such as roadsides, agricultural clearings and perhaps gaps created in forest canopies.  It prefers damp areas and could be restricted to coastal areas and riparian habitats."  (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 28).

"Grows in damp areas forming dense single species stands. A problem in orchards, nurseries and along the banks of drainage ditches around sugarcane, as well as an environmental weed" (Weeds Australia).

Propagation:  Seeds, rooting from stem fragments.

Native range:  Central and west Africa.


Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 28)

Comments:  Introduced into in northern Queensland, Australia (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 28).

Control:  If you know of control methods for Brillantaisia lamium, please let us know.

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 25 APR 2017.