Pitcher Coneflower
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Pitcher Coneflower
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Pitcher Coneflower • Malayalam: പന്ജിക്കുരിന്ജീ Panjikkurinji
Botanical name: Strobilanthes urceolaris    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Nilgirianthus urceolaris (Gamble) Bremek.

Pitcher Coneflower is a shrub with branchlets densely hairy. Flowers are whitish, swollen pitcher-like, borne in spikes 1.5-2 cm long, ovoid, 5-8-together on short lateral branches. Bracts are 8 x 4 mm, obovate, densely hairy, bracteoles linear, hairy. Sepals are 9 mm long, linear, united above the base, densely hairy. Flowers are 1.7 cm long, hairless, white or bluish, cylinder base much smaller, 2 mm long; upper pitcher-shaped portion 1.8 cm long, hairless; petals rounded, blunt or notched, finely veined. Stamen filaments are paired, united into two sheaths; style hairy. Leaves are up to 9 x 5 cm, ovate, pointed at either ends, densely rough, rounded toothed at margins, nerves 7-8 pairs; leaf-stalk 3 cm long. Capsules are 1.0 cm long, hairless; seeds 4 x 3 mm, oblong, brown. Pitcher Coneflower is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: September-October.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed in Shola forest, near Munnar, Kerala.

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