Showy Sonerila
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Showy Sonerila
P Native Photo: Kapilan
Common name: Showy Sonerila
Botanical name: Sonerila speciosa    Family: Melastomataceae (Melastome family)
Synonyms: Sonerila elegans Hook., Sonerila orbiculata, Sonerila solanoides

Showy Sonerila is surely the most beautiful of all Sonerila species, with its large deep rose-purple flowers. Flowers are borne at the top of the stem, in 8-14-flowered cluster, on a distinct flower-cluster-stalk. Flowers have 3 elliptic-ovate pointed petals 1.5 cm long, and three stamens with short beaks. Leaves are 5.0-7.5 cm, ovate-elliptic, pointed, with 5-9 longitudinal nerves starting from the base. They virtually are in a whorled arrangement at the bottom. Stem is up to 25-30 cm tall, upper half often leafless. Capsules are 1 cm long, hairy, oblong, 3-edged, starting from a bell-shaped base. Showy Sonerila is confined to a small region in the Nilgiri hills, and thus endangered.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Eravikulam National Park & Mattupatty, Munnar, Distt. Idukki, Kerala.

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