Justicia (plant)

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Justicia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Acanthaceae. It is the largest genus within the family, encompassing around 700[3] species with hundreds more as yet unresolved.[4] They are native to tropical to warm temperate regions of the Americas, India and Africa. The genus serves as host to many butterfly species, such as Anartia fatima. Common names include water-willow and shrimp plant, the latter from the inflorescences, which resemble a shrimp in some species. The generic name honours Scottish horticulturist James Justice (1698–1763).[5] They are closely related to Pachystachys.[6]

Jacobinia magnifica02.jpg
Justicia magnifica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Subfamily: Acanthoideae
Tribe: Justicieae
Genus: Justicia

Over 900, see List of Justicia species

    • Acelica Rizzini
    • Adatoda Raf.
    • Adeloda Raf.
    • Adhatoda Mill.
    • Athlianthus Endl.
    • Aulojusticia Lindau
    • Beloperone Nees
    • Beloperonides Oerst.
    • Bentia Rolfe
    • Calliaspidia Bremek.
    • Calophanoides (C.B.Clarke) Ridl.
    • Calymmostachya Bremek.
    • Carima Raf.
    • Chaetochlamys Lindau
    • Chaetothylax Nees
    • Chaetothylopsis Oerst.
    • Chiloglossa Oerst.
    • Cyphisia Rizzini
    • Cyrtanthera Nees
    • Cyrtantherella Oerst.
    • Digyroloma Turcz.
    • Dimanisa Raf.
    • Drejerella Lindau
    • Duvernoia Nees
    • Duvernoya E.Mey.
    • Dyspemptemorion Bremek.
    • Ecbolium Riv. ex Kuntze
    • Emularia Raf.
    • Ethesia Raf.
    • Gendarussa Nees
    • Glosarithys Rizzini
    • Gromovia Regel
    • Harnieria Solms
    • Heinzelia Nees
    • Hemichoriste Nees
    • Heteraspidia Rizzini
    • Ixtlania M.E.Jones
    • Jacobinia Moric.
    • Kuestera Regel
    • Leptostachya Nees
    • Libonia K.Koch
    • Lophothecium Rizzini
    • Lustrinia Raf.
    • Mananthes Bremek.
    • Megalostoma Leonard
    • Neohallia Hemsl.
    • Orthotactus Nees
    • Pelecostemon Leonard
    • Petalanthera Raf.
    • Plegmatolemma Bremek.
    • Porphyrocoma Scheidw. ex Hook.
    • Pupilla Rizzini
    • Rhyticalymma Bremek.
    • Roslinia Neck.
    • Salviacanthus Lindau
    • Sarojusticia Bremek.
    • Sarotheca Nees
    • × Sericobonia Linden & André
    • Sericographis Nees
    • Simonisia Nees
    • Siphonoglossa Oerst.
    • Thalestris Rizzini
    • Thamnojusticia Mildbr.
    • Tyloglossa Hochst.
    • Vada-kodi Adans.


They are evergreen perennials and shrubs with leaves which are often strongly veined; but they are primarily cultivated for their showy tubular flowers in shades of white, cream, yellow, orange, violet or pink. Excepting Justicia americana L., they are not hardy below 7 °C (45 °F), so may be grown under glass in frost-prone areas.[6]


Selected species include:

Justicia brandegeeana (formerly Beloperone guttata, commonly called shrimp plant) is native to Mexico. It is hardy to −4 °C but will often recover in the spring after freezing back in USDA Plant Zone 8a.

Justicia carnea (formerly Jacobinia carnea, common names including Brazilian plume flower, flamingo flower, and jacobinia) is native to South America in southern Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. It is hardy to −2 °C but will often recover in the spring after freezing back in USDA Plant Zone 8a.

Justicia procumbens is procumbent herb with angular stems, swollen at nodes, small ovate leaves, small purple flowers in terminal spikes, inserted didynamous stamens, and shortly bilobed stigmas.


  1. ^ "Genus: Justicia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2009-01-23. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  2. ^ "Justicia L." Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  3. ^ Daniel, Thomas F. (2011). "JUSTICIA (ACANTHACEAE) IN TEXAS". Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 5 (2): 595–618. JSTOR 41972309.
  4. ^ "Justicia — the Plant List".
  5. ^ Austin, Daniel F. (2004). Florida Ethnobotany. CRC Press. p. 381. ISBN 978-0-8493-2332-4.
  6. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Justicia at Wikimedia Commons