Lesser Kurinji   
Foto info
Lesser Kurinji
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Lesser Kurinji • Malayalam: കരിമകുരിന്ജി Karimkurinji, വെല്ലകുരിന്ജി Vellakurunji, Kurunji, Karimkurinji, ചിന്നികുരിജി Chinnikurunji • Sanskrit: सहचर Sahchara • Tamil: சிந்நகுரிந்ஜி Chinnakurinji
Botanical name: Strobilanthes ciliatus    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Nilgirianthus ciliatus, Ruellia ciliata

Lesser Kurinji is a shrub, with branches round, hairless. Leaves are elliptic, 10-15 x 3-5 cm, tapering at both ends, hairless, nerves 5 pairs, raised above, rough; leaf-stalk 2 cm long. Flowers are borne in spikes 1.5 cm long, in leaf-axils, solitary, stalked; bracts 6 x 4 mm, obovate; bracteoles 5 x 1 mm, linear-oblong. Flowers are 5-15; calyx 5 mm long, sepals oblong, fused below the middle. Flowers are 1.5 cm long, white with pink patches on lower lobes; staminal sheath hairy. Lesser Kurinji is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: December-May.
Medicinal uses: Lesser Kurinji is used against neurological disorders, sciatica, glandular swellings and oedema.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kannur distt., Kerala.

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