Charming Rotala
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Charming Rotala
A Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Charming Rotala
Botanical name: Rotala illecebroides    Family: Lythraceae (Crape Myrtle family)
Synonyms: Ammannia illecebroides

Charming Rotala is a terrestrial or amphibious annual herb, up to 10 cm tall. Flowers are monomorphic, stalkless, solitary in the axils of leaf-like bracts. Sepal-tube is bell-shaped, 0-8 mm long, sepals 4, triangular-tapering, up to 1 mm long, apiculate at tip, appendages 4, linear, about as long as sepals. Petals are 4, sometimes absent. Stamens are 4, inserted on upper half of sepal-cup tube, not protruding. Ovary is spherical, style very short, stigma head-like. Stem is erect or creeping below, simple or branched above; branches slender, 4-angled to 4-winged. Leaves are perpendicular opposite pairs, stalkless, broadly ovate-heart-shaped, lower leaves larger, up to 4 x 3 mm, semi-stem-clasping at base, pointed at tip. Bracts are leaf-like, Bracteoles 2, persistent, linear, equal to sepals. Capsule is spherical, up to 1 mm, 3-4-valved. Seeds semi-ellipsoidal, about 0.3 mm long. Charming Rotala is a very distinct species, usually seen in wet places and on dripping rocks in hilly areas. Charming Rotala is found in Peninsular India, Andaman Islands and Myanmar. Flowering: November-December.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma, N Arun Kumar Photographed in Bengaluru outskirts, Karnataka.

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