Himalayan Ruellia
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Himalayan Ruellia
ative elliptic Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Himalayan Ruellia
Botanical name: Phaulopsis dorsiflora    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Ruellia dorsiflora, Micranthus dorsiflorus

Himalayan Ruellia is a herb 30-50 cm tall. Stems rising up, 4-angled, brown velvet-hairy. Leaf-stalks are 4-6 cm; leaf blade ovate to elliptic, 7.5-11 x 3.5-5 cm, papery, below velvet-hairy along veins, above hairy, secondary veins about 6 on each side of midvein, base wedge-shaped to narrowed and slightly oblique, margin entire, tip tapering. Flower-spikes are borne at branch-ends, 3-6 cm long. Bracts are round to kidney-shaped, about 1 x 1.4 cm, gland-tipped velvet-hairy. Sepals are outside gland-tipped velvet-hairy; posterior sepal ovate-elliptic, 8-10 mm, bractlike, other sepals linear to subulate and 5-6 mm. Flowers are white, about 6 mm, lower lip 3-lobed, lobes ovate-oblong and 1-2.4 × 0.6-1 mm; upper lip narrow, 2-lobed. Capsule is ellipsoid, about 6 mm, tip gland-tipped velvet-hairy. Seeds about 2 × 1.5 mm. Himalayan Ruellia is found along forest margins, at altitudes of 400-900 m, in Easterm Himalayas, Indo-China and W. China. Flowering: November-May.

Identification credit: Parjanya Guru, Tanay bose Photographed in Sohra Forest, Cherapunjee, Meghalaya.

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