Persian Violet Melastome
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Persian Violet Melastome
P Native Photo: Subhasis Roy
Common name: Persian Violet Melastome
Botanical name: Sarcopyramis napalensis    Family: Melastomataceae (Melastome family)
Synonyms: Osbeckia ovata, Sarcopyramis javanica, Sarcopyramis grandiflora

Persian Violet Melastome is an erect herb, 10-30 cm tall, branched. The flowers look deceptively like Persian Violets. Petals are pink, obovate, about 7 mm, oblique, tip blunt. Stamens are equal; connective decurrent, forming a short spur or minute bulge. Sepal-cup is about 5 mm, 4-sided, narrowly winged on angles. Flower-stalks are 2-6 mm, 4-sided, narrowly winged on angles. Flowers are borne at branch-ends, in 1-3-flowered cymes, with 2 bracts at base; bracts nearly stalkless, leaf-like, ovate. Stems are 4-sided, fleshy, hairless. Leaf-stalks are 1.2-2.8 cm, narrowly winged; leaf blade broadly ovate, ovate, or rarely almost lanceshaped, 5-10 x 2.5-4.5 cm, membranous, below finely velvet-hairy or becoming hairless, above sparsely bristly and with or without white spots, secondary veins 1 or 2 on each side of midvein, base wedge-shaped to almost rounded, margin minutely toothed, tip tapering. Capsules are cup-shaped, 4-sided, membranous crown protruding from sepal-cup. The genus name Sarcopyramis is inspired from the fruit, meaning fleshy and pyramid-shaped. Persian Violet Melastome is found in East Himalaya, from Nepal to NE India to SE Asia and China, at altitudes of 1000-3200 m. Flowering: August-October.

Identification credit: Subhasis Roy Photographed in Dikchu , North Sikkim.

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