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E Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Nongmangkha • Manipuri: ꯅꯣꯡꯃꯥꯡꯈꯥ Nongmangkha • Mizo: Kawldai-Par-Eng • Tangkhul: Sipchang
Botanical name: Phlogacanthus jenkinsii    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Nongmangkha is a shrub, up to 3 m tall. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in compact thyrse, about 7 cm long, many-flowered, stalked; flower-cluster-stalk up to 4 cm long, finely velvet-hairy. Flowers are 2-lipped, slightly curved, 2-2.5 cm long, orange-yellow, velvet-hairy outside; tube broader towards tip, 1.5-1.8 cm long, slightly curved; upper lip about 5 mm long, 2-lobed; lower lip about 2 mm long, 3-lobed; stamens 2, slightly protruding; filaments about 1.5 cm long, orange, mostly hairless, thread-like except base; velvet-hairy; anthers oblong, about 3 mm long Style is thread-like, curved at tip, green-orange, hairless; stigma minute, 2-cleft. Flower-stalks are up to 5 mm long, finely velvet-hairy; bracteate. Bract is 1 per flower, very short, only up to 2 mm long, linear, green, velvet-hairy; bracteoles are 2 per flower, subulate, about 1 mm long, green, dense velvet-hairy. Sepal-cup is bell-shaped, 5-lobed, densely grey velvet-hairy; tube very short, about 2 mm long; sepals linear-lanceshaped, up to 1 cm long. Stem stout, four-edged, sometimes ridged, velvet-hairy when young, hairless on maturity, green-red; leaves elliptic-lanceshaped, 4-17 x 1.5-4.5 cm, tip pointed-with a tail, entire, wedge-shaped, green, hairless on both surface, stalked; leaf-stalk about 4 cm long. Fruits are not seen. Nongmangkha is found in Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Myanmar. Flowering: January-March.
Medicinal uses: Whole plant is used like Adhatoda vasica in whooping cough and menorrhagia. Fruits and leaves are burnt and prescribed for fevers. In Manipur, local people prefer it to Malabar Nut (Justicia adhatoda) It is useful for curing coughs, colds and asthma and is easy to administer. Flowers are antidote to pox, prevents skin diseases like sore, scabies etc.

Identification credit: Sudhansu Sekhar Dash, Rohan Maity Photographed in Imphal, Manipur & Mizoram.

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