Nayar's Osbeckia
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Nayar's Osbeckia
P Native Photo: Dipankar Borah
Common name: Nayar's Osbeckia
Botanical name: Osbeckia nayarii    Family: Melastomataceae (Melastome family)
Synonyms: Ceramicalyx pulchellus

Nayar's Osbeckia is an erect perennial shrub, 1-1.5 m tall, hairless throughout. It is named for Madhavan Parameswaran Nayar (1932-2016), former director of BSI Kolkata. Flowers are borne at branch-ends, in lax panicles, 5-12 flowered, and are 4-petaled, stalked and bracted. Petals are 4, 16-20 x 10-14 mm, ovate, pink-purple. Stamens are 8, filaments 2-4 cm long, anthers 2-4.5 mm long twisted, pore apical, connective prolonged in to a small indistinctly lobed collar, style 2.5-4 mm long, curved; stigma slightly swollen. Sepal-cup is 12-14 x 4-6.5 mm, urn-shaped, with a distinct neck, sepals 4, 10-13 x 2.5- 3.5 mm, ovate with a prominent midrib, margin fringed with hairs, falling off. Bracts are 10-15 x 2-6 mm, ovate, falling off. Flower-stalks are 3-7 mm. Stem and branches are strongly four-edged, distinctly winged at angles. Leaves are simple, opposite, stalked; leaf-stalks 5-10 mm long, reddish brown; blade 10-15 x 3-6 cm, elliptic to lanceshaped, base and tip pointed, 5-7 nerved Capsules are 4-5.5 mm long, enclosed by an urn-shaped sepal-tube with a long neck (hypanthium). Seeds are 0.1-0.2 mm long, minute, curved. Nayar's Osbeckia is found in South India and NE India to Bangladesh. Flowering: July-November.

Identification credit: Niku Das Photographed in Barali Pahar, Goalpara, Assam.

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