Blue Nettle
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Blue Nettle
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Blue Nettle, Nettle Leaved Strobilanthes
Botanical name: Strobilanthes attenuatus subsp. attenuatus    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Strobilanthes urticifolia, Strobilanthes alatus, Pteracanthus urticifolius

Blue Nettle is an erect shrub up to 1.2 m, with round to 4-angled,sticky hairy branches. Flowers are dark-blue, about 2 cm across, in lax, glandular-pubescent panicle-like clusters. Bracts are narrowly lanceshaped-oblong, shorter than calyx, early falling off; bracteoles narrowly oblong, 4-5 mm long, caducous. Sepals are 5, unequal, ligulate, 8-12 mm long, glandular hairy, blunt, enlarged and accrescent in fruit, one much larger than the rest. Flowers 3-4 cm long, tube cylindrical below, as long as calyx, curved above, within, limb petals open. Upper leaves are stalkess. Lower stem leaves are carried on 2.5-8.5 cm long, apically winged hairy stalks. Leaves are ovate, 8-16 x 4.5-8 cm, hairy on both sides to becoming hairless, basally heart-shaped or rounded, toothed, long-pointed. Capsule are narrowly elliptic-oblong, 1.5-1.7 cm long, glandular-pubescent to glabrescent, 4-seeded. Seeds ovate, c. 3 mm long, hairy. Blue Nettle is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Nepal, at altitudes of 2000-3500 m. Flowering: June-October.

Identification credit: John Wood Photographed on Govindghat-Ghangria route, Uttarakhand.

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