Botanical name: Lepidagathis cuspidata Family: Acanthaceae (Barleria family)
Synonyms: Ruellia cuspidata
Spiny Lepidagathis is an erect spiny shrub, growing to 1-3 ft high. Stems and branches are quadrangular. Oppositely arranged oblong-lancelike leaves are 5-8 cm long. The base tapers into a leaf stalk 1-2 cm long. Upper leaves are smaller, stalkless and with spiny tips. Stalkless flowers appear in spikes 5-10 cm long, at the end of branches. Bracts are 1 cm long and spiny pointed. Flowers are creamish white and 2-lipped. Throat and the upper lip are marked with brownish purple lines. Lower lip is 3-lobed. Apart from Western Ghats, Spiny Lepidagathis is also found in Tropical Himalayas, at altitudes of 300-700 m. Flowering: December-January.
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