Blue Carpet Flower
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Blue Carpet Flower
P Native Photo: Nishant Chauhan
Common name: Blue Carpet Flower, Plantain Wishbone Flower
Botanical name: Craterostigma plantagineum    Family: Linderniaceae (Lindernia family)
Synonyms: Torenia plantaginea

Blue Carpet Flower is a perennial herb, 5-9 cm high, with underground orange-red colored rhizome and roots. Flower-cluster-stalks are 3-5 cm long; bracts lanceshaped, 1.2-1.7 cm long, flower-stalk 1.8-3 cm long. Flowers are white, 2-lipped with violet to blue blotches on the upper and lower lip, the upper lip small, the lower broad and spreading, 3-lobed, with glandular hairs on the inner side. The flowers have 2 yellow, or orange honey guides, marked as spots at the throat, acting as false stamens. Stamens are 4, didynamous, style thread-like, stigma 2-lobed. Sepal-cup is 5-lobed, bell-shaped. Leaves are broadly ovate to elliptic, 3.1-4.6 x 1.9-3 cm, narrow leaf-stalk-like at the base, venation of the upper surface not clear, almost hairless or sparsely velvet-hairy, often only margin velvet-hairy, lower surface always hairy with prominent veins, often tinged with purple. Fruit is a capsule, oblong to 1 cm. It is also believed to be a "resurrection plant", meaning it can dry out and stay dormant for long periods and then come back to life after some rain. Blue Carpet Flower is found in Africa, Arabian Peninsula and India. In India it is mostly known from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Identification credit: Nishant Chauhan Photographed in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.

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