Starry Osbeckia
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Starry Osbeckia
P Native Photo: Tabish
Common name: Starry Osbeckia • Nepali: : गलफुले Galaphule, रातो चुलेसी Raato Chulesee • Mizo: Builukhampa
Botanical name: Osbeckia stellata    Family: Melastomataceae (Melastome family)
Synonyms: Osbeckia sikkimensis, Osbeckia pulchra, Osbeckia rostrata

Starry Osbeckia is a herb or shrublet, 0.2-1.5 m tall, erect. Stems are 4-angled, sparsely or densely patently covered with short hairs. Leaves are opposite or 3 whorled; leaf-stalk 2-10 mm, covered with short hairs; leaf blade oblong-lanceshaped, ovate-lanceshaped, or elliptic, 4-9 x 2-3.5 cm, stiffly papery, both surfaces covered with short hairs; secondary veins 2 on each side of midvein; base blunt to somewhat heart-shaped, margin entire and fringed with hairs, tip pointed or tapering. Flowers are borne at branch-ends in racemes or panicled cymes, 4-22 cm; Flower-stalks are short or absent. Hypanthium usually purple to dark purple, 1-2.3 cm, with several rows of up to 2.5 mm setiform star-shaped trichomes on stalks. Sepals are 4, linear-lanceshaped to subulate, 0.8-1.2 cm, falling off in fruit, margin fringed with hairs. Petals are 4, pink to purple, obovate, 1.5-2 cm, margin fringed with hairs. Stamens are 8, inclined to one side; filaments equal to anther lengths; anthers narrowly lanceshaped, long-beaked; connective slightly inflated at base, below slightly inflated, above spurred. Ovary is ovoid, 4-celled, tip bristly. Capsule is long urn-shaped, contracted at middle, 1.0-1.6 x 0.5-0.8 cm, with rows of star-shaped trichomes on stalks, hairless in old specimens or basally bristly, apically hairless. Starry Osbeckia is found in Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, NE India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, at altitudes of 200-2300 m. Flowering: July-November.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Manipur.

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