Nilgiri Justicia
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Nilgiri Justicia
P Native Photo: S. Jeevith
Common name: Nilgiri Justicia
Botanical name: Justicia nilgherrensis    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Adhatoda nilgerrhensis, Ecbolium nilgerrhense, Justicia betonica var. nilgherrensis

Nilgiri Justicia is a herb with woody thick rootstock and long roots; stems often numerous, prostrate. Leaves are opposite, 3-3.5 x 0.5-1 cm, stalkless, oblong-lanceshaped, blunt, soft, greyish green in color, hairless, minutely punctuate, finely fringed with hairs along the margin. Flowers are borne in 4-10 cm long spikes, with bracts 1.5 x 0.7 cm, ovate, very pointed, white but with large green nerves; bracteoles nearly as large. Sepals are five, 5 mm long, all equal, linear pointed, jointed only near the base. Flower-tube is slightly longer, broadening suddenly above the base: upper lip 8 mm long, very concave, notched: lower lip 1 cm broad, 3-fid; lobes spreading; middle lobe rounded, slightly broader than the laterals. Capsule is 2 cm long, dark purple above, velvety woolly, laterally contracted at the base; seeds 4 mm across, papillate. Nilgiri Justicia is endemic to Southern Western Ghats.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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