Slender Coneflower
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Slender Coneflower
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Slender Coneflower • Malayalam: Thokakurinji
Botanical name: Strobilanthes gracilis    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Mackenziea gracilis, Strobilanthes beddomei

Slender Coneflower is a thick shrubs with stems bluntly quadrangular, hairless. Leaves are 12-15 x 4-6 cm, elliptic, narrowing into winged stalk and eared at base, tapering at tip, sawtoothed; lateral nerves 6-7 pairs; leaf-stalk 3-5 cm long. Flowers are borne in panicled spikes, at branch-ends and upper in leaf-axils. Bracts are 7 x 2 mm, inverted-lanceshaped, glandular hairy. Flowers are 1-3 in a spike; sepals 9 x 1.5 mm, tube 1 mm long, sepals inverted-lanceshaped. Flowers are 3 cm long; tube narrow below, swollen above, hairy; staminal filaments hairy. Capsules are 1.4 x 0.7 cm, elliptic, compressed; seeds 3.5 x 3 mm, round, flat. Slender Coneflower is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed near Munnar Kerala & the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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