Pink Snakeweed
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Pink Snakeweed
ntroduced Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Pink Snakeweed, Red Porterweed, Changeable velvetberry
Botanical name: Stachytarpheta mutabilis    Family: Verbenaceae (Verbena family)
Synonyms: Verbena mutabilis

Native to South America, Pink Snakeweed is a perennial herb or nearly a shrub 1-2 m tall. Stems are stout, branched, densely velvet-hairy or bristly throughout. Oppositely arranged leaves are rather thick and somewhat leathery, ovate to elliptic- oblong, sometimes even lance-shaped, 5-12 cm long, 2.5-6 cm wide. Upper surface of the leaf is somewhat like mint leaves, lower surface densely velvety. Margins are toothed, with the teeth angled forward. Tip is acute to tapering, base broadly wedge-shaped to heart-shaped. Leaf stalks are 1-2.3 cm long. Flower spikes are stout, erect, 10-60 cm tall, densely bristly. Bracts are lance-shaped or oblong-lanceshaped, 8-12 mm long. Flowers are attractove, scarlet, crimson to rose or magenta, fading pink, occasionally purple, fading blue. Flower tube is 1.3-1.8 cm long.

Identification credit: Shanker Rao Photographed in IISc Campus, Bangalore & Thenmala, Kerala.

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