Pyramid Lobelia
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Pyramid Lobelia
P Native Photo: Sunit Singh
Common name: Pyramid Lobelia • Nepali: एक्ले विर Ekle bir, Ekphaale bish
Botanical name: Lobelia pyramidalis    Family: Campanulaceae (Bell flower family)
Synonyms: Rapuntium pyramidale, Lobelia wallichiana, Dortmanna pyramidalis

Pyramid Lobelia is a shrubby herb, 0.4-3 m tall, with hairless stem. Leaves are alternate, somewhat leathery, stalkless or shortly stalked; basal leaves spoon-shaped; lower ones oblong, up to 25 cm; middle and upper ones narrowly elliptic or narrowly oblong, 12-31 x 1-4 cm, both surfaces hairless, base narrowed, margin minutely toothed, tip tapering. Flowers are borne in paniculate racemes at branch-ends, with flowers dense, oriented toward one side. Flower-stalks are 0.6-2.4 cm, bracts linear, often shorter than flowers, entire. Hypanthium is bell-shaped or broadly ellipsoid, sepals subulate or linear-triangular, 8-16 x 1-1.8 mm, margin entire. Flowers are white, rose, or bluish, 1.1-2.1 cm, outside hairless, inside tube densely hairy, nearly 2-lipped; lobes of upper lip linear, about 2/3 as long as total length of flower; those of lower lip elliptic or lanceshaped, about 1/3 as long as total length of flower. Stamens are fused into tube above base; anther tube about 5 mm. Capsules are nearly spherical, oblate, or broadly ovoid, 3.5-6.5 mm in diameter, hairless, often drooping. Pyramid Lobelia is found in the Himalayas, from Kumaun to NE India, N. Burma, Indo-China, at altitudes of 1100-2300 m. Flowering: January-May.

Identification credit: D S Rawat Photographed in Madhmaheshwar Valley, Uttarakhand.

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