Two-Color Wishbone Flower
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Two-Color Wishbone Flower
ative Photo: Anurag Sharma
Common name: Two-Color Wishbone Flower • Malayalam: Kakkapoovu
Botanical name: Torenia bicolor    Family: Linderniaceae (Lindernia family)

Two-Color Wishbone Flower is an annual herb growing in moist and waterlogged areas in the Western Ghats. It is a prostrate annual herb with stem 4-angled, ciliate along the ridges near the nodes. Leaves are 1.5-3.5 x 1-2.2 cm, triangular-ovate, base flat or somewhat heart-shaped, margin toothed, tip pointed, sparsely velvet-hairy, membranous, stalk 1-1.5 cm long, sparsely airy. Flowers are borne in leaf axils, solitary or in pairs, on stalks 1.5-3 cm long. Calyx is 1.2-1.5 cm long, keeled; keel becoming wings on stalks, glabrous. Flowers are 2-2.5 cm long, deep purple or tube yellowish and lobes deep purple. Stamens are 4, didynamous; anthers connate in pairs. The common name “Wishbone Flower” comes from the two stamens united at the anthers, forming a structure that resembles a chicken wishbone. Capsule is 1-1.5 cm long, oblong, included; fruiting pedicles to 3.5 cm long. Seeds subglobose, rugose. Two-Color Wishbone Flower is endemic to the Western Ghats, reported from Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Flowering: All year.
Medicinal uses: Two-Color Wishbone Flower has been used by Ayurvedic physicians for the treatment of gonorrhoea and for curing infection of the cornea. A paste made of the plant with cloves, sandalwood, musk and rose-water is stated to be effective in curing exanthemata.

Identification credit: Mayur Nandikar, Anurag Sharma Photographed at Charmadi Ghat, Karnataka.

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