East-Himalayan Eranthemum
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East-Himalayan Eranthemum
P Native Photo: Sobhapati Samom
Common name: East-Himalayan Eranthemum • Bengali: Neel vasooka
Botanical name: Eranthemum strictum    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Daedalacanthus strictus, Justicia elongata

East-Himalayan Eranthemum is a small shrub of about 3-4 feet in height, slightly covered with short hair. Flower-spikes are solitary, erect, from one to two feet long, with branch sharply 4-sided, almost 4-winged. Flowers are large, dark-blue, opposite in alternate pairs, which become remote as the spike elongates. Bracts are pressed to the branch, overlapping, cuneate-lanceshaped, dark green, pointed, fringed with hairs, about 2.5 cm long ; the lowermost barren and becoming floral leaves. Interior two very small, scarcely longer than the five sepals, and like them linear, velvet-hairy. Flower-tube is slender, velvet-hairy slightly enlarged towards the mouth, about twice the length of the outer bracts. Petals are obovate, flat at tip, spreading and flat, equal, very pale below. Two thread-like barren stamina between the filaments. Anthers remain in the mouth of the flowers. Leaves are lanceshaped, obscurely rounded-toothed. Flowers are borne in spikes at branch-ends, slender, much elongated. Bracts are opposite, fourfold, remote, one-flowered. Stem is almost round, jointed, sending 4-sided slender branches in remote pairs. Leaves are about 10 cm long, pointed at each end, their margins somewhat curled and rounded-toothed, smooth and shining, of a peculiar greyish-green color above, very pale, with prominent, hairy, and netveinedd nerves and veins below. The uppermost, or floral leaves at the base of spikes, approach to the size and figure of the bracts. Leaf-stalks are about 2.5 cm long, flattened above, and slightly marginated by the decurrent base of the leaf. East-Himalayan Eranthemum is a native East Himalaya, Bangaladesh and Burma. Flowering: January-March.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed at Barak Waterfall in Tamenglong Distt, Manipur.

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