Tamilnadu Vasa
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Tamilnadu Vasa
P Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Tamilnadu Vasa • Tamil: Chittadalodakam
Botanical name: Justicia beddomei    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Adhatoda beddomei, Justicia gingiana, Ecbolium beddomei

Tamilnadu Vasa is an erect perennial shrub, 1.5-3 m tall; branches hairless, round to nearly tetragonal. It is closely related to Malabar Nut. Leaf-stalks are 1-2 cm long, green, leaves 14-20 x 3-6 cm long, elliptic-lanceshaped, tip narrowed, margin entire, base wedge-shaped, pale green to yellowish green, finely velvet-hairy along the nerves, lateral nerves about 7-10 pairs, flattened. Flowers are borne in spikes at branch-ends and in leaf-axils, 3-8 cm long. Flower-cluster-stalks are 2-5 cm long, green, rounded, finely velvet-hairy. Bracts are 1.2-1.3 x 0.7-1 cm long, ovate to ovate-lanceshaped; bracteoles 8-10 x about 2 mm. Flowers are zygomorphic, bisexual, stalkless, 1.3-1.5 cm long. Sepals are 5, overlapping, equal, 4-5 x about 1 mm, ovate pointed, greenish white. Flowers are about 0.6 x 0.3 cm, white, overlapping, flower tube velvet-hairy inside, 2-lipped, lower lip 3-lobed, striations absent on the lip, upper lip bifid. Stamens are 2, 8-9 mm long, basifixed, light green; filaments about 8 mm long, style thread-like, 5.7-5.8 mm long. Capsules are club-shaped, with long solid base, 2-3 mm long, hairless, green. Tamilnadu Vasa is strictly endemic to Tamil Nadu region of the Western Ghats. Flowering: December-June.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed at FRLHT, Bangalore.

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