Ariyittapara Ceropegia
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Ariyittapara Ceropegia
P Native Photo: Sushant More
Common name: Ariyittapara Ceropegia
Botanical name: Ceropegia ariyittaparensis    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)

Ariyittapara Ceropegia is a newly discovered (year 2020) plant from Kerala. It is an erect tuberous perennial herb, with stems 1 or 2, erect, mostly unbranched, 4-20 cm x 1-2 mm; internodes brownish-green, 0.5-1.5 cm long, with short whitish hairs. It is named for the Ariyittapara plateau where is was first found. Leaves are nearly stalkless, linear-elliptic, 1.5-4 cm x 2-4 mm, pointed, finely velvet-hairy all over. Flowers ae borne in 1-3-flowered stalkless clusters, with several brownish-green bracts 1.5-2 mm long. Flower-stalks are 3-4 mm long, brownish-green, with short white hairs; sepals pinkish-green, 1.5-2 x 0.5-0.6 mm, lanceshaped, pointed and reflexed at tip, hairless. Flower are pinwheel shaped, 1.1-1.3 cm across, green and hairless outside, tube shallow, bowl shaped, 0.5-1 mm deep, 2-2.5 mm broad at mouth, inside yellowish green around gynostegium changing abruptly to maroon towards mouth, hairless; petals spreading, 1.3-1.8 mm broad at base, lanceshaped, 5-7 mm long, tapering with curled margins; inside maroon and velvet-hairy with fine white hairs 0.5-1 mm long, becoming hairless towards base. Corona is 1.8-2 x 1.3-1.5 mm, stalkless, hairless; outer lobes erect, each deeply divided into two slender lanceshaped blunt lobules 1.5-1.8 mm long (so as to appear 10-lobed) and exceeding rest of gynostegium, yellow with deep pinkish-brown margin and tip; inner (staminal) lobes 0.8-1.1 mm long, triangular-lanceshaped, blunt, deep pinkish, connivent, adpressed to backs of anthers, exceeding them to meet in the centre and rise up in small column above style-head, broadening basally towards the outer corona. Seedpods are usually paired, 12-18 cm x 1.5-2.5 mm, narrowly spindle-shaped, greenish-brown. Ariyittapara Ceropegia is only reported from the Kasaragod District of Kerala.

Identification credit: Sushant More Photographed in Kasaragod District, Kerala.

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