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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Gentianales

Familia: Rubiaceae
Subfamilia: Ixoroideae
Tribus: Sabiceeae
Genus: Virectaria
Species: V. angustifolia – V. belingana – V. herbacoursi – V. major – V. multiflora – V. procumbens – V. salicoides – V. tenella

Virectaria Bremek., Verh. Kon. Ned. Akad. Wetensch., Afd. Natuurk., Sect. 2, 48(2): 21. (1952)

Type species: Non designatus.


Virecta Afzel. ex Sm. in A.Rees, Cycl. 37: s.p. (1818), nom. illeg. hom. = Virecta L.f., Suppl. Pl. 17. (1782) vide Sipanea Aubl., Hist. Pl. Guiane 1: 147. (1775) (Rubiaceae)
Phyteumoides Smeathman ex DC., Prodr. 4: 414. (1830), pro syn.

Native distribution areas:

West Tropical Africa
Benin, Burkina, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierre Leone, Togo.
West-Central Tropical Africa
Burundi, Cabinda, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Islands, Rwanda, Zaïre.
East Tropical Africa
Tanzania, Uganda.
South Tropical Africa
Angola, Zambia.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Bremekamp, C.E.B. 1952. Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandsche Akademie van Wetenschappen Section 2, 48(2): 21.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Virectaria in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Mar. 29. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Virectaria. Published online. Accessed: Mar. 29 2019. 2019. Virectaria. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Mar. 29.

Virectaria is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. The genus, known as Virecta until 1952, consists exclusively of tropical African species. It is a Guineo-Congolian genus, having its highest diversity in Lower Guinea but it also occurs in the Zambezian Region.[1] Verdcourt provided a revision in which he defined five species[2] but three more were added later.[3][4] In 2001, a detailed morphological and anatomical study of the genus was conducted and a taxonomic survey and a key to the species was provided.[1]


All species are herbaceous or semi-woody and possess a fruit dehiscence type that is unique for the family; the splitting into one persistent and one deciduous valve allows recognizing the genus at first glance. In habit, Virectaria strongly resembles African Hedyotideae such as Otomeria and Parapentas but it lacks some diagnostic features of that tribe, viz. raphides, articulate hairs, heterostylous flowers and exotestal cells with only slight thickenings.[1]
Cultivation and Use

Virectaria major is frequently used in traditional medicine.[5] It is utilized to heal all kinds of disorders, varying from eye diseases to pneumonia. Most collectors report that decocted leaves are for healing wounds, which is reflected in the Mahi vernacular name "Kalyabirondo", signifying "that which eats wounds".[1]

Virectaria angustifolia (Hiern) Bremek.
Virectaria belingana N.Hallé
Virectaria herbacoursi N.Hallé
Virectaria major (K.Schum.) Verdc.
Virectaria multiflora (Sm.) Bremek.
Virectaria procumbens (Sm.) Bremek.
Virectaria salicoides (C.H.Wright) Bremek.
Virectaria tenella J.B..Hall


Dessein S, Jansen S, Huysmans S, Robbrecht E, Smets E (2001). "A morphological and anatomical survey of Virectaria (African Rubiaceae), with a discussion of its taxonomic position". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 137: 1–29. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2001.tb01102.x.
Verdcourt B (1953). "Remarks on the Classification of the Rubiaceae". Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l'État a Bruxelles. 28 (3): 209–281. doi:10.2307/3667090. JSTOR 3667090.
Hallé N (1966). Famille des Rubiacées (1re partie). Flore du Gabon (12 ed.). Paris: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle.
Hall JB (1972). "A new species of Virectaria (Rubiaceae) from Ghana". Kew Bulletin. 26 (3): 567–571. doi:10.2307/4120320. JSTOR 4120320.
Burkill HM (1998). The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 4 (2 ed.). Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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