Arunachal Lobelia
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Arunachal Lobelia
A Native Photo: Dipankar Borah
Common name: Arunachal Lobelia
Botanical name: Lobelia arunachalensis    Family: Campanulaceae (Bell flower family)

Arunachal Lobelia is a newly discovered (2018) annual, erect herb, 0.3-1.4 m tall. Stems are 0.2-0.5 cm in diameter, round, producing only flowering branches above; branches densely but minutely hairy. Leaves are alternate, at least lower ones stalked; leaf-stalk 0.2-1 cm; blade broadly lanceshaped, 1-8.5 x 0.2-1.5 cm, double sawtoothed, tapering, base slightly unequal, gradually narrowing into the leaf-stalk; lateral veins 8, arching upward, densely hairy above, sparsely hairy below. Flowers are borne in lax racemes at branch-ends on branches and main shoot, leafy, one-sided, many flowered. Bracts are linear to leaf- like, gradually smaller upwards, upper ones shorter but lower ones longer than flowers. Flower-stalks are 4-6 mm, slender, round. Flowers are epigynous, zygomorphic, 1.8-2 cm long. Sepals long subulate-lanceshaped, 4-8 x 0.5-1 mm, mid-vein prominent, both surfaces sparsely hairy, green, herbaceous, glandular sawtoothed, persistent; serrations 4-6, long and subulate. Flower are split to the base on the anterior side and spreading on the posterior side, 5 lobed one sided (one-lipped but not rayed), 2 lateral lobes slender more deeply dissected, curved, spreading outward the lips, 1.7 cm long; middle three lobes nearly equal, not dissected up to the tube but each lobe tapering and with a median longitudinal depression, white to purplish-white; flower tube open above, 0.6-0.8 mm long, exterior surface hairless, bristly inside base towards the anterior surface. Filaments are fused from little above the base; filament tube hairless or sparsely shortly bristly below, 7-10 mm long; anthers fused, 2.5-3 mm long. Style is 1, 1.0-1.5 cm long, slightly curved above, stigma 2-lobed, peeping out from tip of synangium. Capsules are conical oblong, 8-10 x 3-5 mm. Arunachal Lobelia is known to grow only in the Lower Subansiri districts of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Flowering: August-December.

Identification credit: Dipankar Borah Photographed in Lower Subansiri distt., Arunachal Pradesh.

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