Vellakurinji

Scientific Name :
Strobilanthes barbatus Nees
Synonym(s) :
Nilgirianthus barbatus (Nees) Bremek.
Local/Common name(s) :
Vellakurinji
Family :
Acanthaceae
Habit :
Shrubs
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
September-December
Habitat :
Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests
Endemic :
Yes
Status (IUCN) :
Distribution :
Western Ghats
Nativity :
Indigenous
Uses :
Medicine
Description (Morphology) :

Gregarious shrubs, 3-4 m high, sometimes subscandent; stems quadrangular, often winged, sulcate, glabrous. Leaves simple, opposite in unequal pairs, ca 15 x 8 cm, elliptic-lanceolate, acute at apex, decurrent at base, entire, crenulate or repand at margin, coriaceous, glabrous, rarely puberulous, lineolate above; lateral nerves 7-12 pairs, raised beneath; petioles winged, ca 5 cm long, often swollen at leaf base, auriculate at base (when winged). Inflorescences spikes, ca 5 cm long, sometimes subsessile 2-4-fascicled heads interrupted at base, dense-flowered; bract imbricate, orbicular, caudate at apex, ca 1.8 cm long, green, glabrous when young, ciliate and glandular-hairy in fruit, grooved in adaxial face, recurved; bracteoles ovate-lanceolate, ca 1.5 cm long, pubescent, ciliate. Calyx ca 1.2 cm long; lobes subequal, linear-lanceolate, minutely ciliate or not. Corolla tubular-campanulate, ca 2.5 cm long, glabrous outside, hairy inside, white; tubular base slightly shorter than upper campanulate portion; limb nearly erect; lobes 5, ovate-acute, ca 6 mm long, ciliate. Stamens 4, included or slightly exserted, didynamous, united; staminal sheath extending beyond the cylinder base; shorter pair ca 3 mm long, hairy only at base; longer pair ca 5 mm long, hairy throughout; filaments arising from different levels on staminal sheath; staminode absent. Ovary glandular-hairy above; ovules 2 in each locule with lower pair smaller and suppressed in seed; style slender, ca 2 cm long. Capsules elliptic, ca 1.2 cm long, 2-seeded; seeds obovate-orbicular, subacute at apex, ca 6 mm across, thin, glabrous, exareolate.

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