Heart-Leaf Coneflower
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Heart-Leaf Coneflower
P Native Photo: P.S. Akarsh
Common name: Heart-Leaf Coneflower
Botanical name: Strobilanthes cordifolia    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Stenosiphonium cordifolium, Ruellia cordifolia

Heart-Leaf Coneflower is a shrub with branchlets sticky, bearing blue swollen tubular flowers. Leaves are ovate-lanceshaped, up to 12 x 6 cm, base narrowed, margin rounded toothed, tip pointed (much smaller on flowering shoots above); leaf-stalks up to 6 cm. Flower spikes arise at branch-ends, interrupted, up to 10 cm, flower clusters up to 1 cm apart below, closer above; bracts oblong-ovate, 3-ribbed, to 6 x 3 mm; bracteoles lanceshaped, to 5 x 2 mm. Sepals are 5, nearly equal, parted above the middle of the tube, up to 8 mm. Flowers are blue, narrowly tubular below, swollen above, obscurely 2-lipped, 1.5 cm wide; petals 2+3, nearly equal. Stamens are 2+2, didynamous, attached above the middle of the tube, protruding. Ovules are 8; style slender; stigma curved; seeds 8, with silky hairs around. Heart-Leaf Coneflower is found in Peninsular India and Sri Lanka. Flowering: December-February.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Kotagiri, Distt. Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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