Brown's Snake Root   
Foto info
Brown's Snake Root
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Brown's Snake Root
Botanical name: Ophiorrhiza brunonis    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Ophiorrhiza brunonis var. hirsutior, Ophiorrhiza brunonis var. johnsonii

Brown's Snake Root is a small subshrub with branches velvet-hairy. It was believed to be extinct, but was rediscovered in 2013. It is named for Robert Brown, 19th century Scottish botanist. Leaves are to 20 x 7 cm, lanceshaped, tapering, hairless except the nerves; nerves 10-12 pairs, arching; leaf-stalk 2-4 cm long, bristly; stipule 10 mm long, lanceshaped, hairless. White flowers are borne in cymes 5-7 cm broad, at branch-ends, corymbose; flower-cluster-stalk 2-6 cm long, bristly. Flowers are 5-15 mm long, densely arranged; bracteoles 1.3 cm long, thread-like, hairy; sepals 2 mm long, hairy. Flower tube is 8 mm long, bristly, petals ovate, blunt, 1.5-4.5 x 0.75-1.5 mm, not keeled. Anthers are 2-3.25 mm long, linear. Brown's Snake Root is endemic to the Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: February-September.

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

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