Hairless Mussaenda
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Hairless Mussaenda
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Hairless Mussaenda • Adi: Takdeng • Assamese: সোণাৰূপা Sonarupa, চৰাই আঠা Sarai-atha, নগাবালি Nagabali • Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳೋತಿ Belloti • Mizo: Va-kep
Botanical name: Mussaenda glabra    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Mussaenda andersonii, Mussaenda frondosa var. glabra (Vahl) Miq.

Hairless Mussaenda is a branched scrambling or climbing shrub 2.5-4m. Stems are brownish, usually becoming hairless below hairy with brownish hairs above. Leaves are stalked, oblong elliptic, 5-11 x 1-4.5 cm, pointed at both ends (rarely shortly tapering), hairless or thinly hairy on both surface, veins always adpressed velvet-hairy; leaf-stalks 3-15 mm; stipules narrowly triangular, 4-8 mm. Flowers are borne in a lax, repeatedly trichotomously branched, corymb, characteristically also with 1-4 in leaf-axils corymbs from uppermost leaf axils. Sepals are triangular, tapering from base, 1-4 x 1-1.5 mm, sparsely hairy. Sepals can be very small, and fall off soon after flowering. Flower tube is 1.3-1.8 cm, hairy upwards; petals ovate, pointed or shortly apicullate 3-3.5 x 2-3cm. Berry spherical, 8-11mm, hairless; calyx falling off before fruit enlarges. Hairless Mussaenda is found in the Eastern Himalayas, from Nepal to NE India, up to altitudes of 1700 m.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Gangtok, Sikkim.

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