Parasitic Mussaenda
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Parasitic Mussaenda
P Native Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Parasitic Mussaenda • Nepali: बिरी Biree, गब्रे काठ Gabre kaath, गोब्रे काठ Gobre Kaath , हंसराज Hansaraaj, वन गाजा Vana Gaajaa, वन विरी Van Viree • Mizo: Vate-ek-sawi
Botanical name: Neohymenopogon parasiticus    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Mussaenda cuneifolia, Hymenopogon parasiticus

Parasitic Mussaenda is a small shrub found growing on other trees, with inverted-lanceshaped leaves crowded at the ends of the branches, and with creamy-white tubular flowers in branched flat-topped clusters, at branch-ends, with longer narrow often white bracts. Flower-tube is very slender 3-4 cm, with 5 hairy spreading lobes. Sepals are linear, about 1 cm, bracts narrow-lanceshaped, stalked. Leaves are entire, 8-30 cm, hairy on the veins beneath; stems up to 1 m. Capsule are cylindrical 1-1.5 cm, with persistent calyx, splitting into 4 valves at tip, 2-celled, many-seeded. Parasitic Mussaenda is found in the Himalayas, from Uttarakhand to, Nepal, SW China and SE Asia, at altitudes of 1600-2800 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju, D.S. Rawat Photographed in Chakrata, Uttarakhand & Lepchaghat, Darjeeling.

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