Curved Flower Snake Chassalia
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Curved Flower Snake Chassalia
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Curved Flower Woody Chassalia • Kannada: ಕಾಡು ಗರುಡಪಾತಾಳ kaadu garudapatala, ನಿರ್ವಿಷಿ nirvishi • Malayalam: യമരി yamari, വെള്ളക്കുറിഞ്ഞി vellakurinji, കാട്ടു വെള്ളഅമൽപ്പൊരി kattu vellaamalppori, നീല അമൽപ്പൊരി nila amalppori • Tulu: ಕಾಟ್ಟು ಪಾತಾಳಗರುಡೆ kaattu patalagarude • Mizo: Hmuamsen Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Chassalia curviflora var. ophioxyloides    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Chassalia ophioxyloides, Chassalia ambigua, Psychotria ophioxyloides

Shrubs or treelets, sometimes totally unbranched. Leaves are variable in size and shape, stalked, always completely hairless. Lateral veins are always less than 10 pairs. Stipules are persistent or sometimes with top portion deciduous, interpetiolar or united around stem, triangular to bifid, sometimes with basal portion becoming hardened, sometimes glandular at apex or on short appendages. Flowers are borne in many- to several-flowered thyrses at branch ends. Axes of flower-clusters are reddish, red or white, distinctly succulent and swollen when in fruit. Flowers are 4-5-merous, hermaphrodite, possibly always heterostylous. Sepals are small, triangular to linear. Flowers are funnel-shaped, tube slightly curved, often hairy around the throat, lobes valvate in bud, ascending to spreading in open flowers. Stamens remain inside the upper part of the flower tube. Anthers are carried on short filaments, included (long-styled morph), or filaments longer and anthers sometimes partially exserted from throat (short-styled morph). Ovary 2-celled, each locule with a basally attached solitary ovule; style with 2-lobed stigma always included. Fruit is crowned by persistent sepals, an ovoid to globose black drupe with 2 one-seeded, plano-convex pyrenes.

Identification credit: Giby Kuriakose Photographed at Abby Falls, Coorg, Karnataka.

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