Botanical name: Roscoea purpurea Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Roscoea purpurea f. alba, Roscoea purpurea var. gigantea
Purple Roscoe Lily is a stout perennial herb, 25-38 cm tall. This genera of plants are named in honour of William Roscoe, the founder of the Liverpool Botanic Garden. Leaves are 4-8, elliptic, lanceshaped to oblong-ovate, 14-20 cm long, sometimes sickle shaped, tip tapering and sometimes slightly eared at base on lower leaves, side veins parallel; leaf eared fringed with hairs. Flowers are borne in a cluster at the top, the cluster-stalks enclosed in upper leaf sheaths, only upper part of bracts and flowers visible. Flowers light purple, mauve, lilac, pink or white with purple markings, usually only one or two flower open at a time. Each flower has the typical structure for Roscoea. There is a tube-shaped outer calyx. Next the three petals form a tube slightly longer than the calyx, terminating in three lobes, an upright hooded central lobe and two slightly smaller side lobes. Inside the petals are structures formed from four sterile stamens (staminodes): two lateral staminodes form what appear to be small upright petals; two central staminodes are partially fused at the base to form a lip. Lip is not deflexed, 4.5-6.5 x 2-5 cm. Purple Roscoe Lily is found in the Himalayas, from Uttarakhand to NE India, at altitudes of 1520-3100 m. Flowering: June-September.
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