Giant Osbeckia
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Giant Osbeckia
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Giant Osbeckia, Beddome's Osbeckia
Botanical name: Osbeckia reticulata    Family: Melastomataceae (Melastome family)

Giant Osbeckia is a small tree, distinguished by the very shaggy branchlets, the large shaggy or silky leaves densely net-veined, and the coarse comb-tufts which completely cover the sepal cup. The plant is endemic to southern Western Ghats, at altitudes of 1800-2400 m. The plant can grow up to 4 m tall. Branchlets are quadrangular with ferruginous hairs. Leaves are simple, opposite, decussate, stalk 1 cm long, planoconvex in cross section, ferruginous hairy, 5-8 x 2.5-4.5 cm, ovate, tip pointed, base blunt to heart-shaped, leathery, dark green above, paler beneath. Leaves are densely tawny - bristly on both upper and lower surfaces. Inflorescences are 4-6 flowered, borne at the end of branches. Flowers are purple. The part below the sepals is urn-shaped, 1.5 x 1.4 cm, with tufts of wooly bristles.

Identification credit: Santhosh Kumar
Photographed in Munnar, Kerala.
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