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Plant Form: Upright prickly shrub.
Size: Up to 1.8 m tall, usually under 1 m.
Stem: Robust, squarish, greenish when young to rounded light brown or grey when mature.
Leaves: Oppositely arranged, oval or elliptic in shape, sometimes slightly hairy underside, with a spine pointed tip.
Flowers: Showy bright yellow-orange, tubular, up to 4 cm long, in bunches at the end of branches, sometimes singly at leaf bases. With spreading spines at base and long protruding stamens.
Fruit and Seeds: Hairless capsules up to 2 cm long with a beak-like end, containing 2 flat, hairy seeds.
Habitat: Savanna, roadsides, pastures, riverbanks.
Distinguishing Features: Distinguished from Hophead barleria (Barleria lupalina) by lack of red leaf midrib.