Blue Lips
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Blue Lips
P Introduced Photo: Shamita Ghosh
Common name: Blue Lips
Botanical name: Sclerochiton harveyanus    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Blue Lips is a multi-stemmed rounded shrub that can reach 3 x 3 m, occasionally growing to a small tree at 4 m high. However it can also be grown as a pot plant. Its branches are soft-wooded, thin and lax, and occasionally scramble onto support. Leaves are glossy deep-green above and dull-green on the underside, oval to elliptic, about 5 x 2.5 cm, opposite on 5-mm long stalks. Flowers are solitary, borne on stem tips. Flowers are mauve-blue to purple and the lower petals are ribbed, giving the impression of lips. The flowers can be distinguished by 5 fringed lobes, equal in size, short and rounded. Flowering is followed by a green fruiting capsule with a tapering tip. Blue Lips is native to Eastern Cape to Zimbabwe, cultivated worldwide.

Identification credit: Shamita Ghosh Photographed in West Bengal.

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