Dangling Coneflower
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Dangling Coneflower
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Dangling Coneflower • Malayalam: ജൊമീ കുരിന്ജീ Jomi Kurinji
Botanical name: Strobilanthes jomyi    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Dangling Coneflower is a newly described (2017) plant from Kerala. It is named after Dr. Jomy Augustine, Professor of Systematic Botany, St. Thomas College Pala, Kerala. It is a large shrub up to 5 m tall, with stem up to 10 cm wide, somewhat-tetragonal, grooved, hairless; nodes swollen, jointed, oblique supporting roots arising from near the base. Flowers are borne drooping, in 5-15-flowered spikes, 1.5-4 x 0.6-1 cm. Flower-cluster-stalks are 6-9 mm, finely velvet-hairy. Bracts and bracteoles are deep purple. Calyx is almost equally 5-lobed to 2 mm above base, sepals 6-8 x 2.5-3 mm, elliptic, somewhat pointed, entire, fringed with hairs, white. Flowers are 1.4-1.6 cm long, hairless except inside around the staminal sheath, tubular for 7-8 mm, becoming swollen above, bluish with white basal tube, petals nearly equal to unequal, 3-4 x 3.5-5 mm, ovate-round, blunt, hairless, pale blue. Stamens are 4, didynamous, all 4 protruding. Leaves are in unequal pairs; blade 8-13 x 4.5-7 cm, ovate-elliptic, tip tapering, margins distantly rounded toothed, multi-cellular fringed with hairs, base oblique, narrowed onto the leaf-stalk, above dark green, sparsely bristly, below paler, lateral nerves 6-8, parallel, prominent on both surfaces; leaf-stalk 2-7 cm long, purplish-green. Capsules are 1.2-1.5 cm x 3-4 mm, elliptic-inverted-lanceshaped, hairless. Dangling Coneflower is found in Western Ghats, in Karnataka and Kerala.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed at Bisle Ghat, Karnataka.

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