Five-Stamen Barleria
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Five-Stamen Barleria
P Native Photo: Anoop Balan
Common name: Five-Stamen Barleria
Botanical name: Barleria involucrata var. involucrata    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Barleria pentandra, Barleria arnottiana var. pentandra

Five-Stamen Barleria is a perennial shrub, erect, up to 1.5 m high. Flowers are glandular-velvet-hairy outside, pale to dark blue; tube 3-4.5 cm long, white; petals oblong or obovate, 2-3 x 1-1.5 cm, blunt to pointed at tip. Fertile stamens are 2, protruding; filaments 3.5-5 cm long, glandular-hairy towards base; anthers about 5 mm long; sterile stamens 2, 5-8 mm long; staminode scaly. Style 5.5-6.5 cm long. It is closely related to Mayurpankh which has flowers with a purple tube. Leaves are elliptic-lanceshaped, 8-16 x 2.5-8 cm, pointed to narrowed at base, appressed-hairy at margins, tapering at tip, sparsely velvet-hairy; lateral veins 7 or 8 pairs; leaf-stalks 1-6 cm long. Flowers are solitary, 5-7 cm long, in leaf-axils or in scorpioid cymes or often forming a large branch-end panicles. Flower-cluster-stalks are 5-10 mm long; bracts linear-elliptic, 1-2.5 x 0.2-1 cm, curved, bracteoles linear-lanceshaped, about 1 x 0.2-0.5 cm, curved. Outer sepals are nearly equal; anticous lanceshaped, 2.5-3.5 x 0.8-1.5 cm, deeply lobed at tip; inner sepals narrowly linear-lanceshaped, 1.5-2 x about 0.4 cm, pointed at tip, appressed-hairy. Capsules are ellipsoid, 2.5-3.2 x 0.8-1 cm, velvet-hairy at tip. Five-Stamen Barleria is found in Western Ghats of Karnataka and Kerala, Sri Lanka. Flowering: October-March.

Identification credit: Anoop Balan Photographed in Kerala.

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