Agastyamalai Acrotrema
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Agastyamalai Acrotrema
P Native Photo: N. Arun Kumar
Common name: Agastyamalai Acrotrema
Botanical name: Acrotrema agastyamalayanum    Family: Dilleniaceae (Karmal family)

Agastyamalai Acrotrema is a perennial herb with woody rootstock. It is named after its type locality Agastyamalai, a renowned biological hotspot of the Western Ghats. Stem is very short, erect, simple. Leaves are almost emerging from root, obovate or broadly obovate, 10.5-26 x 7-16 cm, blunt or rounded at tip, deeply heart-shaped and eared at base, rounded toothed-toothed at margins, densely hairy above and beneath, bullate, green above and pale beneath; lateral nerves 25-30 pairs, almost horizontal, raised beneath, secondary nerves loosely netveined; leaf-stalk up to 3 cm long, broadly winged, hairless above and hairy below. Flowers are borne in racemes in leaf-axils, flowering stem 1-2 cm long, 3-8 flowered. Flowers are yellow, 2.2-2.6 cm across. Flower-stalks are up to 6 cm long, hairy, white suffused with pink. Bracts are up to 1.3 cm long, broadly ovate, bifid at tip. Sepals are 5, ovate, 7-9 x 4.5-5 mm, 3-nerved, hairy outside. Petals are 5, obovate, to 12 x 8 mm. Stamens are 20-30, filaments in 3 bundles, dilated at the tip, to 3 mm long; anthers erect, linear, up to 1.5 mm long. A related plant Arnott's Acrotrema can be differentiated from this one by the number of stamens which are 50-70 in that plant. In addition, the young leaves of that plant are red, whereas they are green here. Follicles are up to 0.9 x 1.2 cm, irregularly splitting. Seeds are many, up to 1.5 mm long, obovoid, with membraneous arils.

Identification credit: Shiek Ibrahim, Sachin Bhaskar, Sushal Photographed in Kerala.

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