Himalayan Gloxinia
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Himalayan Gloxinia
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Himalayan Gloxinia • Nepali: मरुवा पाती Maruwa paati
Botanical name: Incarvillea diffusa    Family: Bignoniaceae (Jacaranda family)
Synonyms: Amphicome arguta, Incarvillea arguta

Himalayan Gloxinia is a sub-shrub with fern-like foliage and penstemon-like tubular flowers of pallid pink. It grows up to 1.5 m tall. Leaves are alternate, 1-pinnately compound, not clustered at stem base, about 15 cm long, leaflets 5-11, ovate-lanceolate, 3-5 x 1.5-2 cm, pale green and hairless abaxially, dark green and pubescent adaxially, base broadly wedge-shaped, unequal, margin toothed, tip long pointed. Pink flowers are borne in racemes. Bracts are subulate, about 3 mm, bractlets less than 1.5 mm. Sepal cup is bell-shaped, 5-8 mm, teeth subulate, 1-4 mm, base subtriangular, not enlarged into glands. Flowers are pale red or purple-red, or pink, bell- or funnel-shaped, about 4 x 2 cm. Tube is 1.8-2.2 cm. Stamens adherent. Capsule is linear, round leathery, about 20 cm. Seeds numerous, minute, acute and filiform pubescent at both ends. Himalayan Gloxinia is found in the Himalayas, from Kumaun to Nepal, Assam, E. Tibet and W. China, at altitudes of 1800-3500 m. Flowering: March-July.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.

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