Fragrant Stone Flower
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Fragrant Stone Flower
P Native Photo: Sunit Singh
Common name: Fragrant Stone Flower • Nepali: पाखनबेटा Pakhanbetta
Botanical name: Didymocarpus aromaticus    Family: Gesneriaceae (Gloxinia family)
Synonyms: Roettlera aromatica, Didymocarpus subalternans, Henckelia aromatica

Fragrant Stone Flower is a perennial herb with stems 7-12 cm, finely velvet-hairy. Flowers are deep purple, about 1.4 cm long. Sepal-cup is slightly zygomorphic, 3-4 mm; limb indistinctly 2-lipped, 5-lobed; tube about 2.5 mm; sepals nearly equal, triangular, 1.5-3 x about 1.5 mm, outside sparsely glandular finely velvet-hairy. Flowers are borne in 2-5-flowered cymes, carried on flower-cluster-stalk 2.5-3.5 cm long, sparsely glandular finely velvet-hairy; bracts free, ovate to round-ovate, 2-2.5 mm, sparsely glandular finely velvet-hairy, margin entire. Flower-stalks are 5-14 mm. Leaves are mostly opposite, basal 2 often alternate; leaf-stalk 0.1-3.5 cm; leaf blade ovate to elliptic, rarely triangular, 2-6.8 x 1.3-4.2 cm, thin papery to papery, base broadly wedge-shaped to nearly heart-shaped, margin toothed to sawtoothed or rounded toothed, tip pointed to blunt; lateral veins 4 or 5 on each side of midrib. Capsules are 2.5-3 cm. Fragrant Stone Flower is found on grassy slopes, on rocks in the Himalayas, from Kumaun to Sikkim, at altitudes of 1600-3000 m. Flowering: August.

Identification credit: Sunit Singh, Sajan Thakur Photographed in Ransi, Ukhimath, Uttarakhand.

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