Dark Purple Caralluma
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Dark Purple Caralluma
ative Photo: N. Arun Kumar
Common name: Dark Purple Caralluma
Botanical name: Caralluma stalagmifera    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Caralluma stalagmifera var. longipetala, Caralluma stalagmifera var. intermedia

Dark Purple Caralluma is a plant growing up to 25-40 cm tall, in dense clumps, with clear exudates. Stems are succulent, acute, quadrangular, 1-2 cm wide, greyish-green with brown mottling and whitish ribs. Leaves are tooth-like, pointed, stalkless, 4-5 x 0.5-1 mm, fleshy, hairless. Flowers are axillary, solitary; bracts large, triangular; flower-stalks are up to 1.5 cm long and 1 mm in diameter, slender, hairless. Calyx is five-lobed, divided up to base. Flowers are deeply divided, rotate, about 1.2 cm long, 8 mm across, petals ovate-lanceolate, dark purple with purplish yellow tips, after 8-12 days flower colour changes to brownish-green, basal parts of some flowers light pale yellowish with dark markings at the petal; spindle shaped hairs present along the margins and apex; corona staminal, biseriate; outer lobes 2, erect, linear-lanceolate. Follicles are paired, round in cross section, purplish streaked, 10-13 x 0.5-1 cm, tapering towards apex, old split pods hairless. Flowering: December-June.

Identification credit: N. Arun Kumar
Photographed in Melkote, Karnataka.
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