Superb Blushwort
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Superb Blushwort
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Superb Blushwort • Mizo: Hnahchhah-pui
Botanical name: Aeschynanthus superbus    Family: Gesneriaceae (Gloxinia family)
Synonyms: Trichosporum superbum

Superb Blushwort is probably the most spectacular of all the blushworts. Flowers are orange-red to dark red with darker stripes, 5.5-8.5 cm, outside hairless, inside sparsely finely velvet-hairy, mouth oblique; limb indistinctly 2-lipped; upper lip erect, 1-1.6 cm; lower lip reflexed, 1-1.6 cm. Stamens protrude out with filaments 3.2-3.5 cm; anthers coherent in pairs at tip, 3-4 mm; staminode about 1.5 mm. Pistil 4.2-7.6 cm. Flower-stalks are 0.8-1.2 cm, hairless. Sepal-cup is orange-red to red, 5-divided from base; sepals linear to lanceshaped, 2-3 cm x 3.5-7 mm, outside hairless. Flowers are borne in 5-15-flowered cymes in leaf-axils; flower-cluster-stalk 1-3 cm; bracts persistent, pink to red, elliptic to ovate, 4-5.5 x 2-3 cm. Stems are 50-100 cm, hairless. Leaves opposite; leaf-stalk 5-14 mm; leaf blade elliptic to obovate, lanceshaped or oblong, 10-20 X 4.4-10.5 cm, papery to leathery, hairless, above drying smooth, below sparsely dotted, base wedge-shaped to rounded, margin entire, tip abruptly tapering to tapering or pointed; lateral veins indistinct. Capsule 32-52 cm. Seeds with 1 hairlike appendage at each end, appendages 4-8 mm. Superb Blushwort is found in East Himalaya to SE Asia and China, at altitudes of 1000-2500 m. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: M. Sawmliana Photographed in Ailawng area, Mizoram.

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