Blue Barleria
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Blue Barleria
P Native Photo: Suraj Patil
Common name: Blue Barleria • Gujarati: Nilikantashelio • Marathi: नीली कोरांटी Nili koranti
Botanical name: Barleria terminalis    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Barleria strigosa var. polystachya, Barleria polystachya

Blue Barleria is a perennial, erect shrub up to 2 m tall. Stem is round, sparsely bristly with bulbous-based hairs; inter- nodes swollen at base. Leaves are elliptic-lanceshaped, 13-29.5 x 5-12 cm, narrowed at base, fringed with hairs at margins, tapering at tip, sparsely bristly with bulbous-based hairs above, densely so on nerves beneath; leaf-stalks 1-6 cm long. Leaves are hairy above, dark brown beneath; lateral veins 7-9 pairs. Flowers are 6-8 cm long, in crowded cymes at branch-ends. Bracts are elliptic-lanceshaped, 2-5 x 0.5-2 cm, wedge-shaped at base, fringed with hairs at margins, bristly on veins. Outer sepals are ovate-lanceshaped, neary equal, 2-3.5 x 1-2 cm, pointed, inner sepals linear, 1-2 x 0.3-0.4 cm, pointed at tip, bulged at middle, densely silky-fringed with hairs at margins. Flowers are bilipped, glandular-finely velvet-hairy outside, blue; tube 3-4 cm long, widening above, paler than limbs; lobes oblong, 1.5-2.5 x 1-2 cm, blunt at tip. Stamens are protruding. Capsules are ellipsoid, 1.5-2 x 0.6-0.7 cm, compressed, hairless. Blue Barleria is endemic to Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha. Flowering: October-March.

Identification credit: Suraj Patil Photographed in Maharashtra.

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