Indian Alectra
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Indian Alectra
A Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Indian Alectra, Indian Witchweed
Botanical name: Alectra avensis    Family: Orobanchaceae (Broomrape family)
Synonyms: Sida cavaleriei, Alectra indica, Melasma indicum

Indian Alectra is an annual herb, 10-50 cm tall. Flowers are borne in racemes which are lax below, dense towards the end. Flowers are yellow, about 6-8 mm; tube broadly bell-shaped; lobes nearly round, spreading; lower lobe slightly larger than other 4. Stamens inserted near base of flower tube; filaments of 2 anterior stamens with long multicellular glandular hairs. Stigma glandular velutinous. Stems are basally woody, simple or few branched, hairy. Sepal-cup is about 5 mm, membranous, barbate; sepals triangular, nearly as long as tube. Bracteoles are linear-oblong, narrow, longer to slightly shorter than sepal-cup, hairy. Leaves are stalkless or nearly stalkless; leaf blade broadly ovate to ovate-lanceshaped, 2-3 cm, papery, densely short hairy, above sometimes bristly when mature, base wedge-shaped, margin with 2-6 pairs of coarse triangular teeth, tip blunt to tapering. Seeds are round, to 1 mm; seed coat netveined. Indian Alectra is found in grasslands on mountain slopes, sparse forests, at altitudes of 700-2100 m, in East Himalaya, NE India to SE Asia and China. Flowering: August-November.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju Photographed near Reiek Peak, Ailawng, Mizoram.

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