Usha's Lepidagathis
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Usha's Lepidagathis
P Native Photo: Sushant More
Common name: Usha's Lepidagathis
Botanical name: Lepidagathis ushae    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Usha's Lepidagathis is a newly discovered (2020) perennial prostrate, rigid herb, named for Dr Usha Shrirang Yadav, for her valuable contributions to the cytology and taxonomy of the plants of the Western Ghats. It is somewhat similar to Kerala Lepidagathis. Stem is creeping about 2 m long, whitish, cylindrical (greenish and angular in vegetative state). Leaves are small, stalkless, opposite, about 1.5-2.0 x 0.5-0.7 cm, oblong-lanceshaped, rigid, recurved at tip, spiny-pointed, entire at margins. Flowers are borne in spikes at branch-ends, 5-7 cm long, with 7-15 flowers. Flowers are stalked, about 1.5 cm long, pinkish, velvet-hairy outside, deeply 2-lipped; upper lip about 3 mm long, bluntly rounded, shortly 2-toothed, with horizontal pink striations throughout, dark transverse lines on the inner side; lower lip about 3.5 mm long, deeply divided into 3 equal lobes; lobes about 3 mm long, oblong, rounded or blunt at tip, hairless, pink to white. Stamens are 4, filaments about 4 mm long. Sepal-cup is 5-partite, glandular hairy, sepals unequal, spiny-pointed. Bracts are 7-9 x 2-3 mm long, oblong-ovate, glandular hairy, sharply spinous pointed, 5-prominent nerves, margin entire. Bracteoles are 2, 6-8 x 1.5-2.0 mm long. Capsules are pyramidal, compressed, about 6 mm long, tip at pointed, brownish to golden, hairless. Usha's Lepidagathis is found in Maharashtra. Flowering: February-March.

Identification credit: Sushant More Photographed in Rajapur, Maharashtra.

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