Bell Weed
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Bell Weed
ative Photo: Nitu
Common name: Bell Weed, Prostrate Wild Petunia, Black weed • Marathi: Kali dhawani • Tamil: Pottakanchi • Malayalam: Upudali • Telugu: Neelambaram • Gujarati: Kalughavani, Kali Dhraman
Botanical name: Ruellia prostrata    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Ruellia prostrata var. dejecta

Bell Weed is a prostrate perennial herb, with stems often rooting at the nodes. Ovate green leaves, 2-10 cm long, have lower surface conspicuously paler. Leaf stalk is 5-30 mm long. Flowers occur solitary in the leaf axils, each one subtended by oblanceolate to ovate bracts 1.5-2.3 cm long. Sepals 5, linear, 6-10 mm long. Flowers are violet blue to occasionally nearly white, 2.4-3.2 cm long, the petals slightly spreading. Capsules club-shaped, 1.5-2 cm long, densely covered with fine hairs. Flowering: August-September.
Medicinal uses: Believed to be anticancer against the epidermis of the nasopharynx region and slightly hypoglycemic.

Identification credit: Uluberia Botanical Institute
Photographed in NCR Delhi.
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