Holly Mangrove
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Holly Mangrove
P Native Photo: Aditya Gadkari
Common name: Holly Mangrove, Sea Holly
Botanical name: Acanthus ebracteatus    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Acanthus ilicifolius var. ebracteatus, Dilivaria ebracteata

Holly mangrove is a shrub up to 1.5 m high with stem hairless, internode 2.5 to 3 cm long, spines paired at the base of the leaf-stalk, straight. Leaves are opposite, pinnately divided, about 7.5 x 2.5 cm, serrations spiny; leaf-stalk about 0.5 cm long. Flowers are borneat branch-ends in about 3.5 cm long racemes. Flower tube is about 0.5 cm, petals about 3.6 x 3 cm, white, upper lip obsolete, lower lip elongate, obovate, shortly 3 lobed. Stamens are 4, filaments stout, curved, about 1.5 cm and 1.3 cm long; anthers bearded, 1 cm long. Sepals are 4, unequal; outer 2 about 1.5 x 1 cm, inner 2 about 1 x 0.5 cm. Bracts fall off early, bracteoles 2, about 8 x 3 mm, lanceshaped. Capsule ellipsoid and compressed; seeds 4. Holly Mangrove is found in Western Ghats, Bangladesh to China and N. Australia.

Identification credit: Aditya Gadkari Photographed in South Andaman.

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