Elongated Chiretta
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Elongated Chiretta
ative Photo: Anurag Sharma
Common name: Elongated Chiretta, Elongated False-Waterwillow
Botanical name: Andrographis producta    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Andrographis neesiana var. producta

Elongated Chiretta is an erect subshrub, 1.2-1.5 m tall. Leaves are oppositely arranged, 4-14 x 1.5-5 cm, elliptic, lanceshaped, narrowed at base, pointed at tip, hairless. Lateral nerves are 4-10 pairs, stalks 3-6 mm long. Flowers are borne in panicle-like racems in leaf axils or at branch ends. Peduncle is trichotomously branched, with glandular and velvety hairs. Bracts are lanceshaped, elliptic, pointed, 0.5-1.5 x 0.1-0.4 cm. Calyx is 5-lobed, lanceolate, filaments, 3-5 mm long, with glandular hairs on the outer surface. Flower-tube is 6-8 x about 2 mm, white with pink lines, 2-lipped. Upper lip is 5-7 x 2 mm, lower lip 3-lobed, 5-8 mm long, about 3 mm wide, dark purple spots on the lower lip, outer surface pubescent and glandular hairy. Stamens are 2, filaments 1-1.2 cm long, membranous, white, with pink lines, hirsute; anthers 2-3 mm long, bearded at the base, closely arranged. Ovary 2-6 mm long, dark red. Style is 1.5-2 cm long, velvety, stigma simple. Seed-pods are 2-2.5 cm long, 2-4 mm thick, surface with glandular hairs, tip pointed, seeds 6-12, ovoid, hairless. Elongated Chiretta is endemic to Western Ghats. Flowering: September-February.

Identification credit: Udayan Punnakkal Photographed in Thadiyandamol, Karnataka & Munnar, Kerala.

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