Java Isodon
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Java Isodon
P Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Java Isodon • Hindi: Bangra, छिछरी Chhichhri • Nepali: मिरे Mire, ज्वाने झार Jwaane Jhaar, Kontyon
Botanical name: Isodon coetsa    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Isodon javanicus, Isodon polystachys, Plectranthus coetsa

Java Isodon is an erect, perennial, strongly aromatic undershrub, 0.5-2.5 m tall. It is a nectar plant for some butterfly species. Flowers are borne in panicles 5-15 cm long, narrow, at branch-ends or in leaf-axils, velvet-hairy. Flowers are purple to purple-blue, about 6 mm, velvet-hairy, tube about 2.5 mm, upper lip about 2.5 mm; lower lip broadly ovate, about 3.5 mm. Stamens do not protrude out. Style sometimes only slightly protrudes. Flower-stalks are 1-3 mm. Sepal-cup bell-shaped, about 1.5 x 1.5 mm, velvet-hairy outside, glandular, slightly 2-lipped; teeth ovate-triangular, about 1/3 as long as sepal-cup, tip pointed; fruiting sepal-cup tubular-bell-shaped, dilated to about 4 mm, slightly curved, netted at tip. Flower cymes are stalked, 3-5-flowered; lower floral leaves stalkless, ovate, upper floral leaves bractlike, ovate-lanceshaped, shorter than flower-stalks. Stem leaves are opposite; leaf-stalk 1-5.5 cm; leaf blade ovate, 3-9 x 1.5-6 cm, glandular, base broadly wedge-shaped, margin rounded toothed, tip tapering, lateral veins 3-paired. Java Isodon is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Bhutan, Western Ghats, Ceylon, Burma, W. China, Indo-China, at altitudes of 600-3400 m. Flowering: October-February.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh.

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