Spurious Justicia
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Spurious Justicia
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Spurious Justicia
Botanical name: Justicia notha    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Ecbolium nothum, Rostellularia simplex Wight

Spurious Justicia is a critically endangered, erect herb with woody rootstock, up to 20 cm tall, stem branched, 4-angled, hairy. Leaves are opposite with interpolar stipules, short-stalked, leaf-stalk 1-2.5 mm, narrowed at base, pointed or blunt at tip, blade 1.5-3.5 x 0.5-0.9 cm linear-elliptic hairy at both sides, hairs multi cellular, lower mainly at margins, margins entire. Nerves are 3-5, prominent below. Flowers are borne at branch-ends, in dense, cylindric spikes up to 4 cm, carried on flower-cluster-stalk 0-1.5 cm. Bracts are lanceshaped, midrib 6.5 x 1.5 mm; bracteole linear 6 x .5 mm equal; sepals 4, lanceshaped, mid rib dark green unequal 5-6 x 1 mm, a small lobe present. Flowers are lilac, tube 3 mm, petals 5 mm, upper 2-lobed, lower 3-lobed, ovate- oblong, flat at tip, ribs in the centre portion of lower flower. Stamens are 2, filaments 0.4 mm, style about 0.7 cm, stigma spherical, simple, capsule ellipsoid- oblong; seeds 4, about 6 min long. Spurious Justicia is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: September-December.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in the grasslands of Rajamalai, Idukki distt., Kerala.

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