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Hairy Tufted Leucas   
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Hairy Tufted Leucas
A Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Hairy Tufted Leucas
Botanical name: Leucas ciliata var. oblongifolia    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Leucas vestita var. oblongifolia

Hairy Tufted Leucas is an annual or perennial herb, 30-75 cm high. Stem is greenish woolly, lower portion of stem and branches prostrate, rooting frequently. Branches are pale green, bluntly quadrangular, grooved, densely hairy with white shining hairs, hairs 2.5-3 mm long, spreading. Leaves are opposite, leaf-stalk 8-15 mm long, blade 3-6.5 x 2.5- 3.5 cm, elliptic to broadly ovate, rounded to wedge-shaped at base, broadly blunt to rounded at tip, margin rounded toothed with 9-14 teeth, upper surface pale green, densely hairy with antrorse hairs. Flowers are borne in 10-15-flowered whorled clusters at branch ends, each subtended by a pair of bracteate leaves with a pair of tender leaves projecting above the whorls, 1.5-2.5 cm across. Flowering calyx is 7-8 mm long, (fruiting calyx 10–11 mm long), straight, bell-shaped, broad above, narrow towards base, ribbed along veins outside, teeth 10-12, nearly equal, 1.5-2.5 mm long, star-shapedly spreading, fringed with dense 1 mm long whitish hairs. Flowers are 2.1-2.2 cm long; tube white, 8.5-9 mm long, included in the calyx, lower lip white, 11.5- 12.5 mm long, obliquely attached to tube, middle lobe 8.5-9.5 mm broad at free end, fan shaped, side lobes 1.5-2 mm broad; upper lip 5.5-6.5 mm long, yellowish brown with dense spreading hairs outside. Hairy Tufted Leucas is endemic to the southern Western Ghats, in Courtallum and Idukki areas. Flowering: October-December.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Rajamalai, Idukki distt., Devikulam, Kerala.

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