Rough Coneflower
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Rough Coneflower
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Rough Coneflower
Botanical name: Strobilanthes neoasper    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Nilgirianthus asper, Strobilanthes aspera, Strobilanthes asper Wight

Rough Coneflower is a shrub, up to 1 m tall, with stems quadrangular, grooved on two faces, hairy, hairless when old. Leaves are opposite, about 12 x 7 cm, variable, mostly elliptic-ovate, wedge-shaped and decurrent at base, rounded toothed-crenulate at margin, tapering at tip, membranous, hairy, lineolate on both surfaces; lateral nerves 7-10 pairs; leaf-stalks about 5 cm long. Flowers are borne in panicles with compact spikes; spikes ovate, 2.5-5 cm long in flower, 5-8 cm long in fruit. Flower-cluster-stalks are glandular-hairy; bracts elliptic-ovate or elliptic-lanceshaped, about 1.3 cm long, glandular-hairy; bracteoles linear, blunt or pointed, about 1 cm long, fringed with hairs, glandular-hairy. Calyx is about 1 cm long, lobed almost to base; tube about 1 mm long; lobes 5, linear-lanceshaped, equal, densely glandular-hairy in upper half, thinly so or hairless in the lower. Flowers are tubular-swollen, about 1.5 cm long, pale lilac; cylinder base shorter, about 3 mm long; limb bell-shaped, swollen, about 1.2 cm long, hairy, 5-lobed; lobes triangular, blunt. Stamens are 4, not protruding, didynamous; staminal sheath extending to 1/3 of bell-shaped portion, notched. Capsules are elliptic, about 1 cm long, pointed at tip; seeds 4, round-obovate, about 3 mm across. Rough Coneflower is endemic to Western Ghats.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Eravikulam National Park, Munnar, Kerala.

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