Naga Coneflower
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Naga Coneflower
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Naga Coneflower
Botanical name: Strobilanthes discolor    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Goldfussia discolor, Strobilanthes nagaensis, Diflugossa nagaensis

Naga Coneflower is a subshrub up to 1.8 m tall, with leaves in strongly unequal pairs. Flower are violet, trumpet shaped, 3.2-3.8 cm, hairless, tube basally cylindric and about 2 mm wide for 8-10 mm then gradually widened to about 1 cm at mouth; lobes ovate, 5-6 x 6-7 mm, tip rounded. Stamens are 4; longer filament pair 7-8 mm, style 2.3-2.8 cm. Sepal-cup is 5-lobed almost to base; sepals flowering are linear-oblong, 5-7 x about 1 mm, nearly equal, tip blunt. Sepals in fruit are almost spoon-shaped, growing to about 1 cm, often gland-tipped hairy. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in stalked heads, often with secondary branching and becoming panicle-like. Floral bracts are inverted-lanceshaped to spoon-shaped, 3-5 x 1-2 mm, rapidly falling off. Stems and branches are 4-angled to almost round, grooved. Leaf-stalks are 0.5-2.5 cm, grooved, hairless; leaf blade elliptic to ovate-elliptic, 3-14 x 2-6.5 cm, hairless, both surfaces with prominent cystoliths, below whitish, above dark green, secondary veins 6-8 on each side of midvein, base narrowed, shortly decurrent onto leaf-stalk, and often slightly oblique, margin sawtoothed, tip tapering to with a tail and often curved Capsules are narrowly obovoid, about 10 x 2.5 mm, 4-seeded. Naga Coneflower is found in the Himalayas, predominantly in East Himalaya to Tibet and Myanmar. Flowering: October-February.

Identification credit: John Wood Photographed in Reiêk tlâng, Ailâwng, Mizoram.

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