Arup's Henckelia
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Arup's Henckelia
P Native Photo: Mohina Macker
Common name: Arup's Henckelia
Botanical name: Henckelia arupii    Family: Gesneriaceae (Gloxinia family)

Arup's Henckelia is an interesting, newly discovered (2023) species from NE India. The species is named in the honor of Prof. Arup Kumar Das, former Professor of Botany, Rajiv Gandhi University. Flowers are borne singly in a cyme in axils, flower-cluster-stalk 5.8-6.5 x 0.4-0.5 cm, velvet-hairy; flower-stalk velvet-hairy, 2-4 mm long. Flowers are funnel-shaped, 4.8-5.1 x 3.3-3.6 cm across the mouth, dark pink to purplish brown stripes on petals near throat, more prominent on lower lip, glandular velvet-hairy on both sides (dense within tube), distinctly 2 lipped, lips divergent. Upper lip is 2-lobed, broadly ovate, 1-1.5 x 1.4-1.6 cm; lower lip 3-lobed, nearly equal, broadly ovate, 1.3-1.5 x 1.2-1.5 cm. Tube is 3.8-4.2 x 2.5-2.8 cm; throat dark yellow. Sepal-cup is creamy white to dark green, bell-shaped, 4.3-5.2 cm long, narrowly pleated 5-sect, densely velvet-hairy outside; tube 3-4.5 cm long; sepals 4.3-5.2 x 0.9-1.2 cm, lanceshaped to elliptic-ovate, nearly entire to sawtoothed with curled margin, pointed to tapering. Stamen filaments are 1-1.4 cm long, staminodes 3, 0.8-1.2 cm long. Pistil is 3.8-4.2 cm long; style 1.3-1.7 cm long, stigma chiritoid, dark pink, lower lip 2 lobed. Bracts are 2, leaf-like, concealing the flower buds, velvet-hairy, green, opposite. It is an erect perennial herb, with decumbent base, caulescent. Stem is 80-120 cm long, 0.7-1 cm in diameter, round, velvet-hairy. Leaf-stalks are 4-12 cm long; leaves elliptic-ovate to lanceshaped, 10-28 cm x 6.5-20 cm, base oblique, tip pointed to shortly tapering, margin sawtoothed, dark green above, pale green below; glandular-velvet-hairy on both surfaces. Secondary veins are 6-10 on each side, raised beneath. Arup's Henckelia is native to Arunachal Pradesh. Flowering: September-October.

Identification credit: Mohina Macker Photographed near Udayak Pass, Lohit Valley, Arunachal Pradesh.

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