South-Indian Chiretta
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South-Indian Chiretta
P Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: South-Indian Chiretta
Botanical name: Andrographis explicata    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Andrographis viscosula var. explicata

South-Indian Chiretta is an erect woody undershrub, about 1 m tall, with stems hairless. Leaves are up to 15 x 4 cm, elliptic, tapering at both ends, bristly; nerves 7-10 pairs; leaf-stalk 2 cm long. Flowers are borne in panicles 10-30 x 20 cm, pyramidal; branches glandular-bristly; bracts and bracteoles minute. Flowers are many, 2 cm long, tube gradually broadening above, not or slightly bellied; upper lip 2-lobed, dark-purple; lobes of lower lip equal, blunt, hairy; anthers pointed at base, hairless, filaments attached near the base of the flower, hairless; style puberulus. Sepals are 4.5 mm long, lanceshaped, subulate, glandular hairy. Capsules are 25 x 4 mm, linear-oblong, hairy, retinacula pointed; seeds 12. South-Indian Chiretta is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: August-December.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Vagamon, Kerala.

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