Spiked Coneflower
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Spiked Coneflower
P Native Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Spiked Coneflower
Botanical name: Strobilanthes spicatus    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Strobilanthes phyllocaulos, Pteracanthus phyllocaulos

Spiked Coneflower is a herb with stout, hairy stems, 30-75 cm tall, 4-angled, thinly hairy. Flowers are borne at branch-ends or very rarely also from upper leaf axils, in spikes, 5-15 cm long. Calyx is 0.8-1.2 cm, 5-lobed almost to base. Flowers are funnel-shaped, strongly curved, blue to purple, 3.2-4 cm. Flower tube is cylindric at the base and about 2 mm wide for about 5 mm then bent to about 90° and widened to about 1.5 cm at mouth; lobes are ovate, about 6 x 7 mm, tip blunt. Leaves are virtually stalkless, ovate to rarely ovate-oblong, 2-5 x 1.2-3 cm, both surfaces thinly hairy, secondary veins about 4 on each side of midvein, base rounded, heart-shaped, or rarely wedge-shaped, margin rounded toothed to nearly entire, tip pointed to blunt. Spiked Coneflower is supposedly found only in Meghalaya, at altitudes of 1500-2000 m, but we found it growing wild in Manipur too. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: John Wood Photographed at Shirui hill, Ukhrul, Manipur.

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