Bellflower Coneflower
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Bellflower Coneflower
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Bellflower Coneflower
Botanical name: Strobilanthes campanulata    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Nilgirianthus campanulatus,

Bellflower Coneflower is a perennial herb up to 70 cm high, branches nearly erect. Flowers are borne in short roundish spikes in leaf axils, about 2.5 x 1 cm, ovoid, green. Flowers are 4-8, bluish; flower-cluster-stalks 2-2.5 cm long, green, slender. Involucral bracts are 2, lanceshaped, 6-7 x 1.5-2 mm, tip pointed, green, thick, hairless, green, midrib raised below. Basal bracts are sterile, elliptic-lanceshaped, 1.5-1.8 x 0.6-0.8 cm dark green, two pairs. Bracts are lanceshaped, 1.2-1. 5 x 0.6-0.8 cm. Bracteoles absent. Sepal-cup is 2-2.2 mm long, creamy white, hairless; sepals 5, unequal, 2 larger, linear-lanceshaped, 3.2-3.5 x 0.8-1 mm, 3 smaller, purplish outside. Flower tube is 1.4-1.6 cm long, white, gradually widening above, hairless outside, petals 5, short, broadly ovate, 2-2.5 x 3-3.2 mm, tip rounded, wavy, bluish. Stems are tetragonous, slender, dark green, laterally grooved, sparsely bristly; internodes 6-10 cm long. Leaves are opposite, decussate, ovate-lanceshaped, 8-14 x 3.5-6 cm, tip tapering, base oblique, decurrent on leaf-stalks, margin rounded toothed, fringed with hairs, sparsely bristly above, veins bristly below; lateral veins 7-9 pairs, raised on both sides; leaf-stalk 0.5-2 cm long, flat, sparsely bristly laterally. Bellflower Coneflower is found in Peninsular India. Flowering: August-December.

Identification credit: R. Balaji Photographed in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Distt. Kannur, Kerala.

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