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Dalzel's Thottea   
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Dalzel's Thottea
P Native
Photo: Anurag Sharma
Common name: Dalzel's Thottea
Botanical name: Thottea dalzellii    Family: Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort family)
Synonyms: Bragantia dalzellii, Apama dalzellii

Dalzel's Thottea is a large branched shrub upto 2 m high; stem woody at base, often flexuous, young shoots dark-purple, cylindrical, minutely hairy. Leaves are alternate, elliptic to obovate 7-18 x 3.5-8.5 cm, rounded-wedge-shaped at base, entire at margin, tapering at tip, chartaceous, hairless above, velvet-hairy beneath, strongly 3-nerved from the base; lateral veins 3-5, tertiary veins closely netveined; leaf-stalk 0.2-0.5cm long, velvet-hairy, channelled above. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in stalked cymes; flower-cluster-stalk 1-1.8 cm long; bracts ovate, 0.3-0.5 cm long, densely hairy outside. Flowers are 8-10 mm in diameter, dark purple; perianth lobed to the base, tepals up to 10 x 0.8 cm, broadly ovate- nearly round, pointed-blunt at tip, strigosely hairy without and multicellular cylindrical hairs within; margins not reflexed; flower buds trigonous, perianth lobes closely meet at their margins, blunt at tip, strigosely hairy without. Capsules are 9-14 cm long, nearly round, brown-purple and becoming hairless when young, pale green at maturity. Seeds many, trigonous. Dalzel's Thottea is endemic to the Western Ghats. Flowering: All year.

Identification credit: Santhosh Kumar E.S. Photographed in Aralam WLS, Kerala.

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