Purple Gymnostachyum
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Purple Gymnostachyum
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Purple Gymnostachyum
Botanical name: Gymnostachyum warrierianum    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Purple Gymnostachyum is a newly described undershrub up to 70 cm tall. It is named for Padmabhooshan Dr. P.K. Warrier. Stems are round, hairless. Leaves are oppositely arranged, with leaf-stalk 3-11 cm long with light brown color. Leaf blades are broadly elliptic to ovate-elliptic, 16.5-38.5 x 7.2-16.5 cm, tapering at tip and tapering-narrowed at base, margin entire, surfaces hairless, dark green above, pale beneath, main veins 8-13 pairs lateral nerves, parallel, equally spaced and prominent on both surfaces. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in spikes of many-flowered cymes, normally consisting of 14-36 flowers, 7-15.5 cm long. Flowers are nearly stalkless, purple to greenish yellow in color, velvet-hairy throughout, 2.1-2.4 cm long; floral bracts 4-4.5 mm long, lanceshaped, pointed at tip, velvet-hairy, fringed with hairs along margins; bracteoles 1.8-2 mm long, lanceshaped. Calyx is 5-lobed, lanceshaped, 4.8-5 mm long, divided almost to the base; sepals equal, pointed at tip, velvet-hairy, fringed with hairs along margins. Flower tube is 1.1-1.2 cm long, cylindrical, straight, petals 1-1.1 x about 1.1 cm long, purple-colored in lower and greenish yellow on upper side, glandular-velvet-hairy; bi-lipped; upper lip about 8 mm long, straight, not hooded, notched or shallowly lobed; lobes about 0.2-0.6 x 0.3 mm, blunt; lower lip about 9 mm long, shallowly 3-lobed; lobes about 1.5-2 x about 2 mm, ovate, pointed, hooded, recurved at tip on opening. Stamens are 2, held within hooded upper lip; filaments about 2 cm long, adnate at base of swollen portion of flower tube, style about 2 cm long. Capsules are 1.8-2.2 cm long, linear, hairless. Purple Gymnostachyum is found in Western Ghats, Kerala and Karnataka. Flowering: November-March.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Karnataka.

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