Rock Osbeckia
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Rock Osbeckia
P Native Photo: Rajah Jayapal
Common name: Rock Osbeckia
Botanical name: Osbeckia virgata    Family: Melastomataceae (Melastome family)
Synonyms: Melastoma glomeratum, Osbeckia saxatilis

Rock Osbeckia is a much-branched subshrub, up to 1 m tall; young stem bluish, covered with stiff, prostrate hairs. Leaves are 1.5-3.3 x 0.5-1.8 cm, elliptic to linear-lanceshaped, base narrowed, tip pointed, hairy below on nerves, prominently 3-ribbed; leaf-stalk up to 5 mm long. Flowers are borne in few-flowered clusters, pentamerous, about 2 cm across at branch-ends. Calyx tube is 3-4 mm long, nearly spherical with stalked star-shaped and simple bristles; sepals 5, lanceshaped, pointed. Petals are pink, 6-7 x 3-4 mm, obovate. Stamens are 10; anthers 4-5 mm long. Ovary 5-locular, with clustered stiff hairs. Capsules are 6-7 x 4-5 mm, nearly spherical. Seeds are minute, curved and minutely tubercled. Rock Osbeckia is found in Peninsular India and Sri Lanka.

Identification credit: P. Prashob Photographed in Meghamalai, Tamil Nadu & Kerala.

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