Indian Wishbone Flower
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Indian Wishbone Flower
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Indian Wishbone Flower, Indian Torenia
Botanical name: Torenia indica    Family: Linderniaceae (Lindernia family)

Indian Wishbone Flower is an annual herb, which has often been confused with Heart-Leaf Wishbone Flower. Stem is 4-angled, erect or sometimes rooting at the lower nodes, moderately fringed with hairs on the angles. Leaves are opposite, decussate, stalked, ovate or ovate-lanceshaped, penninerved, velvet-hairy especially on the nerves, wedge-shaped at the base, narrowing to wings on the leaf-stalk; leaf-stalks hairy, up to 1.5 cm long. Leaves are up to 2 x 3.5 cm. Flowers are crowded together in the axils of the upper leaves ; flowering flower-stalks 1 cm long ; fruiting 1.5 cm, 4-angled, fringed with hairs. Sepal-cup is 2-lipped, about 1 cm long ; upper lip 3-toothed ; lower lip 2-toothed; wings fringed with hairs, heart-shaped at base, non decurrent. Flowers are white or light violet, 2-lipped, 1.5 cm long; tube equaling the sepal-cup, distended at the base, interiorly hairy on lobes below. Stamens are 4, didynamous ; lower filaments longer. The common name “Wishbone Flower” comes from the two stamens united at the anthers, forming a structure that resembles a chicken wishbone. Capsules are oblong-elliptic, included. Indian Wishbone Flower is endemic to the Western Ghats. Flowering: September-November.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed at Panvel, Maharashtra.

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