Umbelled Henckelia
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Umbelled Henckelia
P Native Photo: Momang Taram
Common name: Umbelled Henckelia
Botanical name: Henckelia umbellata    Family: Gesneriaceae (Gloxinia family)

Umbelled Henckelia is a perennial stemmed herb with stems erect to sometimes prostrate, 30-150 cm long, scarcely branched, rooting from the woody base, cylindrical, green to dark purplish-brown. Flowers are borne in leaf axils, in 4-6-flowered umbels, carried on flower-cluster-stalks 3-6 cm long, stout; bracts 2, free, enclosing the flower buds, broadly ovate, 2.8-3.5 x 2.4-2.6 cm, green with prominent purplish veins, falling off. Flowers are funnel-shaped, 5-7 cm long, tube slightly curved downward, bluish purple, abruptly tapering towards the whitish base, sparsely hairy out, two-lipped, 5-lobed, lower lobes 3, 0.8-1.2 x 1.0-1.4 cm, upper lobes 2, 1.0-1.5 x 1.5-1.8 cm; lobes entire, rounded, bluish purple, throat with yellow, purple markings and dark purple-brown stripes, inner surface with many glandular trichomes. Stamens are 2; filaments inserted about 2.5 cm above the base of the flower, 1.0-1.2 cm long. Staminodes are 2, inserted about 2 cm from base of the flower, about 1 cm long. Ovary is 20-23 x 1.5-2 mm, green, hairless; style 1.2-1.5 cm long. Flower-stalks are enclosed within the bracts, 1.2-2.2 cm long. Sepal-cup is 5-lobed, fused almost up to middle, 3.5-3.7 cm long, purplish-white; tube 1.7-2.0 cm; sepals narrowly triangular, 1.7-1.8 cm long. Leaves are opposite, usually in unequal pairs with a large and a slightly smaller leaf; leaf-stalks 3-11 cm long, 1-3 mm broad, green-brownish, sparsely hairy with red-brown hairs; blade ovate to elliptic-oblong, 8-18 x 4-8 cm, tip tapering, margins rounded toothed-sawtoothed, densely brown velvet-hairy, base oblique, upper surface with many white hairy hairs, lower surface with white and reddish-brown hairy hairs and many white stalkless glands; lateral veins 8-12 pairs, more prominent and clothed with red- brown hairs on lower surface. Capsules are 10-16.5 cm long, linear, green, orthocarpic, without persistent disc and calyx. Umbelled Henckelia is native to Arunachal Pradesh. Flowering: August-October.

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in Arunachal Pradesh.

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