Yellow Chirita
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Yellow Chirita
P Native Photo: Momang Taram
Common name: Yellow Chirita
Botanical name: Loxostigma kurzii    Family: Gesneriaceae (Gloxinia family)
Synonyms: Chirita kurzii, Didymocarpus kurzii, Roettlera kurzii

Yellow Chirita is a tree-dwelling or rock-dwelling perennial herb with stems 12-30 cm long, sparsely velvet-hairy. It is named for Wilhelm Sulpiz Kurz, 19th century botanist and expert in Musa (banana). Flowers are yellow to orange, rarely white, inside lower lip purple to brown spotted, 3.8-5 cm, outside very sparsely velvet-hairy, becoming hairless, tube 2.8-3.8 x 1.5-2 cm; upper lip about 8 mm, lobes semiround, 4-6 x 5-8 mm, tip rounded; lower lip about 1 cm, lobes semiround, central lobe 5-10 x 5-8 mm, lateral lobes 2.8-8 x 4-7 mm. Upper stamens about 2.5 cm, lower ones about 3 cm, pistil 1.8-2.4 cm, style 7-12 mm. Sepals are lanceshaped to narrowly triangular, 1-1.8 cm x 2-3 mm, margin entire to sparsely finely toothed. Flowers are borne in 1- or 2-flowered cymes, carried on flower-cluster-stalk 1.2-6.2 cm. Leaves are mostly opposite at stem tip, basal leaves usually small, equal to nearly so in a pair; leaf-stalk absent to 1.5 cm, leaf blade inverted-lanceshaped to obovate or lanceshaped to ovate, 4-14 x 2-6 cm, base sometimes oblique, narrowly wedge-shaped, to rounded, margin irregularly sawtoothed, tip tapering to blunt; lateral veins 5-7 on each side of midrib, prominent. Yellow Chirita is found in NE India, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, at altitudes of 1800-3500 m. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in Mishmi Hills, Arunachal Pradesh.

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