Blue Himalayan Hydrangea
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Blue Himalayan Hydrangea
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Blue Himalayan Hydrangea, Blue Evergreen Hydrangea • Nepali: भासक Bhasak • Nepali: भासक Bhaasak, बन्सुली Bansuli, गन्हाउने पात Ganhaaune Paat, असेरु Aseru, बनसुक Banasuk • Mizo: Khawsikdamdawi
Botanical name: Hydrangea febrifuga    Family: Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea family)
Synonyms: Hydrangea pubescens, Dichroa febrifuga

Blue Himalayan Hydrangea is shrub 1-2 m tall. Blue flowers are borne in corymb-like panicles, 3-20 cm across. Flower buds are obovoid, 6-10 mm; flower-stalk 3-5 mm. Sepals 4-6, broadly triangular, tip pointed. Petals are turned back at maturity, blue or white, oblong-elliptic, slightly fleshy. Stamens 10-20; filaments fused when young, free at maturity, thread-like; anthers ellipsoid. Styles are 4-6, club-shaped; stigma oblong. Branchlets, leaf-stalks, and veins are hairless or crisped velvet-hairy. Leaf-stalks are 1.5-5 cm; leaf blade sometimes purplish below, elliptic, obovate, elliptic-oblong, or lanceshaped, 6-25 x 2-10 cm, papery, below hairless or crisped velvet-hairy along veins, rarely sparsely hairy, above hairless, secondary veins 8-10 on both sides of midvein, base wedge-shaped, margin sawtoothed to coarsely so, rarely wavy, tip pointed to tapering. Berry is dark blue when mature, 3-7 mm in diameter. Seeds are about l mm. Blue Himalayan Hydrangea is found in Eastern Himalayas, from C Nepal to China, SE Asia, at altutudes of 900-2400 m. Flowering: May-July.
Medicinal uses: It is an important herb in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. The active ingredients are febrifugine and isofebrifugine. In traditional preparations it is used in conjunction with other plants such as Glycyrrhiza glabra, Ziziphus jujube and ginger.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Sikkim.

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