Brazilian Red Cloak
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Brazilian Red Cloak
ntroduced Photo: Radhika Vatsan
Common name: Brazilian Red Cloak, Red Justicia
Botanical name: Megaskepasma erythrochlamys    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

A blazing mixture of flaming red and vivid pink flowers, is what Brazilian Red Cloak in full bloom looks like. In spite of its name, this splendid plant comes from Venezuela where it is found naturally in tropical woodland. An evergreen shrub with boldly veined, shiny green leaves, it bears from early autumn into winter spikes of very showy, 12 inch, crimson flower spikes. (Actually white or pink flowers in the cloak of the very conspicuous crimson bracts.) TThe showy ‘flower’ consists of red bracts surrounding the white true flower. The growth habit of the Brazilian red cloak is considered by horticulturalists to be a shrub. It does not grow compactly as many shrub's do but instead is tall and lanky (an average of approximately 10 feet) while yet full. Under ideal growing conditions the plant can hit fifteen feet (4.5 meters) in height.

Identification credit: Nandan Kalbag
Photographed in Goa.
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