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Biosystematic Studies on Enicostema axillare (Lam.) A. Raynal subsp. axillare (Gentianaceae) in Peninsular India by Shahina P.M., Santhosh Nampy- Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 07/2013; 17(5):696-702.

Abstract: The pantropical genus Enicostema (Gentianaceae) has three species and two sub species world over, namely, E. verticillatum (L.) Engl. (America), E. elizabethae Veldkamp (Madagascar) and E. axillare having 3 subsp. viz., subsp. axillare (Lam.) A. Raynal (India), subsp. latilobum (N.E. Br.) A. Raynal (East Africa) and subsp. littorale (Blume) A. Raynal (Indonesia).  The present study aims to delimit the Indian taxa based on field and herbarium studies. Comparative morphology is studied using live as well as consulting wide range of specimens housed at various herbaria. The anatomy of leaf, stem and root is studied using free hand sections and from epidermal peelings.  The seed and pollen morphology are studied under SEM.  Information on anatomy, palynology and seed micromorphology of E. axillare subsp. axillare is provided for the first time.  


From what I’ve been able to gather, the genus Enicostema was revised in 1969 by the French botanist Aline Marie Raynal who published a new combination Enicostema axillare (Lamarck) A. Raynal, comb. nov., and divided it into three subspecies –
i] the nominate subsp. axillare,
ii] subsp. latilobum (N. E. Br.) A. Raynal, stat. nov., and
iii] subsp. littorale (Blume) A. Raynal, stat. nov.
Her paper – Révision du genre Enicostema Blume (Gentianaceæ) – is in French and was published in the journal ‘Adansonia’, ser. 2, vol. 9 (1), 1969, p. 57-85. Am giving an English translation of her key to the subspecies of E. axillare herewith:
Calyx less than 2/3rd of the total flower length and often smaller; calyx lobes lanceolate, triangular or obovate, less than 4 times longer than wide. Anthers very briefly apiculate. Old World.
– 1. E. axillare (Lam.) A. Raynal
Calyx lobes obovate to suborbicular, apex rounded, mucronate, margin widely scarious. East Africa.
– 1b. subsp. latilobum (N. E. Br.) A. Raynal
Calyx lobes triangular or lanceolate, apex acute, margin narrowly scarious: Leaf apex rounded or occasionally subacute (but not acuminate), mucronate; capsule c. 2.5 mm to 4.5 mm. Asia, Africa.
– 1a. subsp. axillare.
Leaf blade gradually tapering to an acuminate apex; capsule c. 4 mm to 6 mm. Malaysia.
– 1c. subsp. littorale (Bl.) A. Raynal.
Have attached a couple of plates depicting certain distinctive morphological features of these subspecies from her paper.


Binomial Habit Notes References Distribution Common name
(Lam.) Raynal
Herb Plains, Moist
Flora of Tamil
Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
All districts Vellaragu



Botanical name Family Common name
Enicostema axillare Gentianaceae Indian Whitehead


Indian Gentianaceae: A Check-list By Sunita Garg (1988)- p. 5- Brief details-
Flora of Medak District, Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, Chintala Prabhakar, B. Ravi Prasad Rao (1998)- Details-
Flora of Ranga Reddi District Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, M. Silar Mohammed (2000)- Details-

Traditional Medicines for Modern Times: Antidiabetic Plants edited by Amala Soumyanath (2005)- Details-
Enicostema hyssopifolium (Willd.) Verd. is a synonym of Enicostema axillare
Flora of Eastern Karnataka, Volume 2 By N. P. Singh (1988)- Details-

Enicostema hyssopifolium (Willd.) Verd. is a synonym of Enicostema axillare

Flora of the Indian Desert by M. M. BhandariMPS Repros, 1990 – Botany435 pages-
Floristic Plants of the World By Rashtra Vardhana (2006)- Details-

Enicostema hyssopifolium (Willd.) Verd. is a synonym of Enicostema axillare

Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Chhatarpur and Damoh By G. P. Roy, B. K. Shukla, Bhaskar Datt (1992)- Details-

Antidiabetic Plants in India and Herbal Based Antidiabetic Research By T. Pullaiah, K. Chandrasekhar Naidu (2003)- Details- p. 172-

Enicostema ‎(Gentianaceae) 2 posts by 1 author.

I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Enicostema (Pl. click).

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

If someone can provide complete list of Indian species with source references it will be wonderful.

Any comments/ corrections are welcome.

Please find the attachment

Thanks, …, for this paper on Enicostema.


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