Zulu Spurflower   
Foto info
Zulu Spurflower
ntroduced Photo: Tabish
Common name: Zulu Spurflower, Zulu cockspur
Botanical name: Plectranthus zuluensis    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Zulu Spurflower is an erect or sprawling, soft shrub up to 2 m high, with much-branched, four-angled, hairy stems which are velvety when young. Soft, semi-succulent leaves are ovate with coarsely toothed margins, hairy and covered with tiny, colourless glands. The plant has a characteristic pungent smell when crushed. Flowers are borne in whorls of six in spikes at the ends of the branchlets, 6-10 cm long. The 6 mm long calyx is saccate (wide) at the base, narrowing towards the throat, and ranges from deep purple-blue to pale blue-mauve, with six rows of mauve dots along the upper lip. This species is unusual in the genus Plectranthus as the upper pair of stamens are sterile. Fruit are small, dark brown nutlets. Zulu Spurflower occurs from the northern parts of the Eastern Cape through the coastal region of KwaZulu-Natal to southern Swaziland. It is cultivated in the hill-stations of India. Flowering: October-June.

Photographed in Ooty, Tamil Nadu.
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