Blue Snakeweed
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Blue Snakeweed
P Native Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Blue Snakeweed, Nettleleaf Velvetberry, blue rat's tail • Malayalam: Kadapananthu
Botanical name: Stachytarpheta urticifolia    Family: Verbenaceae (Verbena family)
Synonyms: Verbena salisburyi, Zappania urticifolia, Verbena salisburii

Blue Snakeweed is a branched erect herbaceous plant that grows up to 1.5 m tall. Young shoot, leaf-stalks and leaves towards the base velvet-hairy. Leaves 4-8 x 2-5 cm, elliptic-ovate, pointed at tip, sawtoothed on margins, hairless on both sides. Spikes at branch-ends, cylindric, about 0.3 cm diameter, 20-40 cm long. Bracts are 5-7 mm long, linear lanceshaped, fringed with hairs on margins. Calyx is tubular, narrow, about 0.5 cm long; sepals 5, minute. Flower tube is about 5 mm long, slightly curved, 5-lobed; petals blue. Stamens are 2, not protruding, staminodes 2. Capsule is 4-5 mm long, cylindric; calyx tube persistent. Capsule spilts into two 1-seeded pyrenes. Blue Snakeweed is found throughout the Tropical world. Flowering: September-December.

Identification credit: Gurumurthi Hegde Photographed in Babasaheb Ambedkar Udyan, Powai, Mumbai.

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