Desert Honeysuckle
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Desert Honeysuckle
P Introduced Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Desert Honeysuckle
Botanical name: Thyrsacanthus secundus    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Anisacanthus secundus

Desert Honeysuckle is a her 1-3 m tall. Flowers are borne in a one-sided raceme. Flowers are bright red, 3.5 cm long, slightly curved, sparingly and finely velvet-hairy, about 3 mm in diameter at base, narrowed above ovary to 2 mm, thence gradually enlarged to 6 mm at mouth, lips about 9 mm long; style finely and sparingly velvet-hairy. Sepal-cup is bell-shaped, sepals fine-tipped, 2-2.5 x 1 mm wide at base, glandular finely velvet-hairy. Axis of the raceme is finely velvet-hairy. Flower-stalks are 2.5 mm long; bracts narrowly triangular, 2 x 0.5 mm, finely velvet-hairy. Stem is round, finely striped, sparingly finely velvet-hairy. Leaf-stalks are up to 5 mm long, finely velvet-hairy; leaves lanceshaped, 5-8 x 2-2.5 cm, tapering, somewhat sickle shaped, blunt or rounded at base, hairless. Capsule is 20 x 6 mm, hairless or with a few minute trichomes. Desert Honeysuckle is native to South America, cultivated as a house plant elsewhere.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Lalbagh Botanical garden, Bangalore.

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