Aromatic Swampweed
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Aromatic Swampweed
ative Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Aromatic Swampweed
Botanical name: Hygrophila balsamica    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Cardanthera balsamica, Adenosma balsamea, Ruellia balsamica

Aromatic Swampweed is a marsh dwelling erect herb, up to 50 cm tall. Stem is well-branched, hairless. Leaves are opposite, obovate-elliptic to lanceshaped, 1.6-5 x 1.4 cm, wedge-shaped at base, sawtoothed or rounded toothed at margin, blunt to somewhat pointed at tip, base densely hairy, 8-pairs, leaf-stalk short. Flowers are borne in verticullate cymes. Flowers are about 1.2 cm across, blue, in leaf-axils, 8-10-flowered; bracts obovate, bracteole ovate, 2.1 mm long. Calyx is tubular, bell-shaped, sepals 5, linear-obovate, 5 mm long, margin fringed with hairs, tip blunt to somewhat pointed, hairy. Stamens 4, filament linear, 3-7 mm long; anther obovate, 1.1 mm long, mucronate at base. Ovary oblong-obovate to spherical, 2 mm hairy; 2-loculed; ovules many; style thread-like, 8.4 mm long, white-fringed with hairs; stigma subulate, 05 mm long, base lobed. Capsules oblong-ellipsoid.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Puzhal, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

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