Violet Wishbone Flower
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Violet Wishbone Flower
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Violet Wishbone Flower • Mizo: Ar-awkeu
Botanical name: Torenia violacea    Family: Linderniaceae (Lindernia family)
Synonyms: Mimulus violaceus, Torenia peduncularis

Wishbone Flower is an annual herb, 8-35 cm tall. Stems are erect or somewhat creeping, branched near base. Leaves are decreasing in size upward. Leaf-stalks are 0.5-2 cm long. Leaves are ovate to narrowly ovate, 2-4 x 1-2 cm, hairy, base wedge-shaped to somewhat flat, margin shallowly toothed, tip long-pointed. Flowers are borne in fascicles at branch ends or singly in leaf axils, rarely in racemes. Flower-stalks are about 1.5 cm long, up to 3 cm in fruit. Sepal tube is 5-winged, oblong-fusiform, 1.0-1.7 cm x 6-8 mm, up to 2 x 1 cm in fruit, base rounded and slightly decurrent. Wings are up to 2.5 mm wide, lobes 5. Flowers are bluish violet, 1.5-2.2 cm, 2-lipped, exceeding the sepal-tube by 1-2 mm. Lower lip is 3-lobed, lobes circular, about 3 x 4 mm, nearly equal. Upper lip is nearly erect, circular, about 5 mm in diameter. Stamens are 4. The common name “Wishbone Flower” comes from the two stamens united at the anthers, forming a structure that resembles a chicken wishbone. Capsule is oblong, 0.8-1.4 cm, enclosed by persistent sepal tube. Violet Wishbone Flower is found on grassland on mountain slopes, forests, along trails, in the Himalayas, from Kumaon to Bhutan, China, Cambodia, Indonesia (Java), Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, at altitudes of 200-2000 m. Flowering: July-October.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Mangan, Sikkim.

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