Twisted Coneflower
Share Foto info
Twisted Coneflower
P Native Photo: Rajib Gogoi
Common name: Twisted Coneflower
Botanical name: Strobilanthes helicta    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Asystasia calycina, Ruellia calycina, Pteracanthus calycinus

Twisted Coneflower is a subshrub 50-100 cm tall, with almost equal-paired leaves. Flowers are white or flushed pale purple, 3.5-4 cm, hairless, tube basally narrow and cylindric for about 5 mm then abruptly widened to about 1.8 cm and finally narrowed slightly and bent to about 90 degree near mouth. Petals are oblong, about 5 x 4 mm, unequal, tip notched. Stamens are 4, not protruding. Sepal-cup is 1.3-2.5 cm, hairless or gland-tipped velvet-hairy, 5-lobed almost to base; sepals linear with one shorter than others, often keeled, outside with white cystoliths, tip tapering. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in one-sides spikes, 2-12 cm long, sometimes few flowered, axis usually strongly zigzag; bracts linear, 5-13 mm, persistent, one of pair per node shorter than other, bracteoles linear, 2-3 mm. Flowers are 6-10 mm apart on axis, only one sterile per node. Stems are 4-angled, erect, grooved, usually hairless but sometimes apically brown velvet-hairy. Leaf-stalks are 0.2-5 cm, leaf blade ovate-lanceshaped to elliptic, 5-12 x 1-6 cm, both surfaces hairless, below paler, above dark green, secondary veins 6-7 on each side of midvein, base narrowed and decurrent onto leaf-stalk, margin sawtoothed to rarely nearly entire, tip tapering. Capsule is oblong, 1.8-2 cm, hairless, 4-seeded, tip apiculate. Twisted Coneflower is found in evergreen broad-leaved forests, at altitudes of 1700-2200 m, in NE India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and China. Flowering: August-November.

Identification credit: Rajib Gogoi Photographed around Gangtok, Sikkim.

• Is this flower misidentified? If yes,