Stinging Coneflower
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Stinging Coneflower
P Native Photo: Milind Girdhari
Common name: Stinging Coneflower, Stinging Hemigraphis
Botanical name: Strobilanthes urens    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Hemigraphis urens, Ruellia urens, Ruellia dura, Gantelbua urens

Stinging Coneflower is a prostrate herb covered with stiff hairs. Leaves are oblong-obovate, 2-5 x 0.8-1.5 cm, blunt, somewhat rounded-toothed, base narrowed. Flowers are blue to purple, borne in dense heads at branch ends or in leaf axils. Flowers are 2.3 cm long, tubular, swollen, petals 5, nearly equal, 1.3 x 1.8 cm, tube 8 mm long. Sepals divided from the base, nearly equal, up to 9 mm long, linear, hairy. Stamens are 4, in unequal pairs, filaments pairs 3 and 1.5 mm long, anthers 2 mm long, diverging, longer filaments hairy at the lower half. Ovary is 4 mm, style 1.7 cm long. Outer bracts are 4, linear-oblong, 1.8 x 4 mm long. inner bracts linear, 9 mm, densely hairy. Capsules are linear-oblong, grooved, seeds 6-8, hairy. Stinging Coneflower is endemic to Peninsular India. Flowering: September-April.

Identification credit: Milind Girdhari Photographed near Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

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