Bearded Coneflower
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Bearded Coneflower
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Bearded Coneflower • Kannada: ಕೂರಿಗೆ Koorige ಗುರ್ಗಿ Gurgi • Telugu: గడ్డం శంఖు పువ్వు, Gaddam Sankhu puvvu
Botanical name: Strobilanthes barbatus    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Nilgirianthus barbatus, Ruellia barbata, Strobilanthes tetrapterus

Bearded Coneflower is a gregarious shrub, 3-4 m tall, sometimes climbing; stems 4-edged, often winged, grooved, hairless. Leaves are oppositely arranged in unequal pairs, about 15 x 8 cm, elliptic-lanceshaped, entire, rounded-toothed or wavy at margin, pointed at tip, leathery, lateral nerves 7-12 pairs, leaf-stalks winged, about 5 cm long, often swollen at leaf base, eared at base (when winged). Flowers are borne in spikes, about 5 cm long, sometimes nearly stalkless, in 2-4-fascicled heads interrupted at base, dense-flowered; bract overlapping, round, with a tail at tip, about 1.8 cm long, green, hairless when young, fringed with hairs and glandular-hairy in fruit; bracteoles are ovate-lanceshaped, about 1.5 cm long, velvet-hairy, fringed with hairs. Calyx is about 1.2 cm long, united to 1/3 at base; sepals nearly equal, linear-lanceshaped. Flowers are tubular-bell-shaped, about 2.5 cm long, hairless outside, hairy inside, white; tubular base slightly shorter than upper bell-shaped portion; limb nearly erect; petals 5, ovate-pointed, about 6 mm long, fringed with hairs. Stamens are 4, included or slightly protruding. Capsules are elliptic, about 1.2 cm long, 2-seeded. Bearded Coneflower is endemic to Western Ghats. Flowering: September-December.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in NCBS, Bangalore.

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