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Madwort
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Madwort
A Native Photo: Shakir Ahmad
Common name: Madwort, Eurasian madwort
Botanical name: Asperugo procumbens    Family: Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not family)
Synonyms: Asperugo vulgaris, Asperugo erecta

Madwort is a herb up to 50 cm tall, with stem and branches fistular, striped, rough with bristly retrorse hairs. Flowers are blue, 2-4 mm long, slightly exceeding sepal-cup, scales opposite; lobes, blunt; tube about 1.8 mm long, equalling or longer than limb. Anthers are about 0.5 mm long ovate, style 0.5 mm, stigma subcapitate. It is named so because it was once believed to be a cure for madness. Flower-stalks are 2-4 mm long. Sepal-cup is hairy, about 2.5 mm long, nodding in fruit, divided into linear-lanceshaped sepals, nervose, accrescent, saucer-like and up to 12 mm in fruit. Leaves are shortly stalked. Blade is decurrent, 2.0-8.0 x 0.6-1.9 cm, including leaf-stalk, inverted-lanceshaped to broad lanceshaped, pointed to blunt, hairy on both surfaces with nearly appressed hairs up to 1.0 mm long, arising from a swollen base. Nutlets are 2.5-3 mm long, laterally compressed, ellitic-ovoid, minutely tubercled, brownish yellow to brown. Madwort is found in Eurasia and the Himalayas, above altitudes of 2000 m. Flowering: March-May.

Identification credit: Shakir Ahmad Photographed in Kashmir.

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