Graceful Blushwort
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Graceful Blushwort
P Native Photo: Momang Taram
Common name: Graceful Blushwort • Garo: Machuk-nachil
Botanical name: Aeschynanthus gracilis    Family: Gesneriaceae (Gloxinia family)
Synonyms: Trichosporum gracile

Graceful Blushwort is a perennial herb with hanging stems, growing on trees. Flowers are bright red on tube, central lower lobes yellow spotted, 2.1-2.4 cm long, hairy outside, inside hairless, mouth strongly oblique; limb distinctly 2-lipped. Stamens are long protruding, fused in 2 pairs, filaments cream, with glandular hairs, 1.4-1.8 cm long; anthers coherent in pairs at tip, about 0.2 cm long. Pistil is 2.4-2.8 cm long, hairless; style green. Sepal-cup is pale green, with long hairs; sepals linear or narrowly triangular, 3-4 mm long, tapering at tip. Flowers are borne singly in leaf-axils, flower-cluster-stalk absent; bracts falling off. Stems are spreading, reddish-brown, with dense long hairs; rooting at nodes. Leaves are opposite; leaf-stalk 0.1-0.2 cm long, with dense long hairs; leathery to fleshy, bluish green above, pale green beneath, elliptic-lanceshaped or narrowly obovate, 1.5-3.2 cm long, 0.5-1.1 cm wide, tapering at tip, base wedge-shaped to rounded; hairless above, densely velvet-hairy beneath, entire along margin; lateral nerves invisible. Capsules are linear, 6.9-14.7 cm long, with a single thread-like hair; appendages 1.5-2 cm long. Graceful Blushwort is found growing on trees in forested valleys, at altitudes of 1300-1700 m, East Himalaya, China and SE Asia. Flowering: October-November.

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in Arunachal Pradesh.

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