Prostrate Lepidagathis
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Prostrate Lepidagathis
P Native Photo: N. Dhatchanamoorthy
Common name: Prostrate Lepidagathis
Botanical name: Lepidagathis decumbens    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Prostrate Lepidagathis is a an erect to lying down perennial herb, with woody rootstock; branches up to 30 cm long, stem round, young branches purplish, rough-becoming hairless; internodes up to 1 cm long. Leaves are opposite, linear-oblong to lanceshaped, 0.8-2.5 x 0.3-0.5 cm, stalkless, narrowed at base, entire at margins, tip curved and spiny. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in one-sides spikes, 3-6 x 1-1.5 cm. Flowers are white, about 1.4 cm long, 1 cm across, bristly on outer surface except at base; sparsely bristly inside, purple with yellow spots along the ribs, petals 5, hairless inside, upper 2 lobes fused, blunt, notched, lower 3 lobes, median broader than the lateral, blunt, notched, margins sinuate, lateral lobes blunt. Stamens are 4, filament 2-3.5 mm long, sparsely glandular. Sepal-cup is 5 lobed, 8.5-9 mm long, spiny at tip, outer surface glandular silky, inner surface silky, posterior sepal broader, lanceshaped, anterior sepals 2, fused up to middle, lateral sepals 2, linear. Bracts are lanceshaped, 1.2 x 0.3 cm, pointed-tapering at tip, spiny, bracteoles lanceshaped, 1 x 0.28 cm, pointed-tapering, spiny at tip. Capsules are shorter than sepal-cup, ovate-oblong, about 6 x 4 mm, hairless. Prostrate Lepidagathis is endemic to Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. Flowering: October-January.

Identification credit: N. Dhatchanamoorthy Photographed in Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu.

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