Ganges Primrose
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Ganges Primrose
P Native Photo: Thingnam Sophia
Common name: Ganges Primrose, Chinese violet, Creeping Foxglove • Gujarati: Kaligharani • Kannada: ಲವಂಗವಲ್ಲಿ Lavangavalli, ಲವಣ ವಲ್ಲಿ Lavana valli, ಮುದ್ದೆಸೊಪ್ಪು Muddesoppu, ಮೆದ್ದೆಸೊಪ್ಪು Meddesoppu • Malayalam: valli-upu-dal • Marathi: लवण वल्ली lavana valli • Tamil: மிதிகீரை miti-kirai
Botanical name: Asystasia gangetica    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Asystasia acuminata, Ruellia gangetica, Asystasia violacea

Asystasia means inconsistency and relates to the fact that the corolla is more or less regular which is unusual in the family Acanthaceae. The word gangetica is derived from the Ganga river in India where it is presumed the species occurs. Ganges primrose is a perennial herb 30-80 cm long; stem branched, 4-angled, climbing. Flowers are borne in a 7-8 flowered lax spike like raceme; axis 5-14 cm long. Flowers are pale yellow or white, tube funnel-shaped, 3-3.2 cm long, velvet-hairy, limb 3.5-4 cm across, lobes 5, rounded. Cultivated plants often have variously pink-tinged flowers. Sepal-cup is divided to the base or nearly so, sepals 5, linear-lanceshaped, 6-8 mm long, pointed, densely velvet-hairy on both surface. Leaves are opposite decussate, 3.5-5.5 x 2.5-4.5 cm, ovate triangular, heart-shaped or so at base, pointed or rarely blunt at tip, entire, adpressed finely velvet-hairy above, pale and woolly beneath; lateral veins 6-8 pairs; leaf-stalk 1-2 cm long, densely adpressed finely velvet-hairy. Capsules are club-shaped shaped, 2.7-3 x 0.3-0.4 cm, densely velvet-hairy, opening widely in a reflexed curve. Ganges primrose is found in the Indian Subcontinent, Indo-China to Australia.

Identification credit: Nandan Kalbag, Dinesh Valke Photographed in Manipur & Maharshtra.

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