Palani Coneflower
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Palani Coneflower
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Palani Coneflower • Malayalam: Chonayamkallu Kurinji
Botanical name: Strobilanthes pulneyensis    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Nilgirianthus circarensis, Strobilanthes circarensis

Palani Coneflower is a profusely branched shrub up to 2 m tall. It is named after Palani Hills of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Branchlets are densely hairy. Leaves are elliptic to ovate to obovate, 8-14 x 5-9 cm. Condensed spikes depressed, head-like or cone-like, involucral bracts leafy, ovate. Sepals equal. Flowers are blue to violet, 2.6 cm long, tube cylindric, 1 cm, curved. Stamens are 4, included: staminode minute, Ovary is 4-ovuled. Capsules are oblong, 8 x 4 mm. Palani Coneflower grows gregariously, especially in ravines, in Peninsular India. Flowering: December-February.

Identification credit: Dr. Jomy Augustine Photographed in Eravikulam National Park, Munnar, Distt.Idukki, Kerala.

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