Hairy Java Tea
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Hairy Java Tea
P Native Photo: Paulmathi Vinod
Common name: Hairy Java Tea
Botanical name: Syncolostemon comosus    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Orthosiphon bracteatus, Orthosiphon comosus

Hairy Java Tea is an erect shrub, 3-5 feet tall, woolly. Stem is round with multicellular shining glandular hairs. Branches are usually opposite. Leaves are crowded towards the inflorescences, nearly stalkless, obovate, wedge-shaped, crenato-sawtoothed, with shining hairs on both surfaces. Flowers are borne in very long racemes at branch-ends, axis stout, verticillasters laxly arranged, 6-flowered. Bracts are rose-colored, upper ones larger, leaf-like obovate, 3-nerved, nearly entire, glandular, concealing the flower buds and deciduous. Sepal-cup is 1.2 cm erect but deflexed when fruiting, upper lip broad, entire, concave at first and convex when fruiting, lower lip with 4 pointed teeth. Flowers are 3.5-5 cm long velvet-hairy, tube long, slender, inflexed towards the tip. Upper lip is slightly larger than the lower, 3 lobed, mid-lobe very slightly notched, lower lip entire, concave. Stamens 4 free, declinate. Disc is swollen, style thread-like, stigma club-shaped, nutlets ovoid, smooth. Hairy Java Tea is native to South India. Flowering: December-February.

Identification credit: Hopeland@iNaturalist Photographed in Kalakad Mundathurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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