Stinging Wigandia
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Stinging Wigandia
ntroduced Photo: Vinay Bhargava
Common name: Stinging Wigandia, Fiberglass Plant
Botanical name: Wigandia urens    Family: Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not family)
Synonyms: Hydrolea urens

Stinging Wigandia is from Peru. Considered a shrub or small tree, this fast grower can reach 12-15 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide. It develops into a jungle-like canopy of 12-14 inch long, sometimes larger, rugged yet tropical foliage. It produces beautifully vivid sprays of flowers on the ends of stems from late winter through spring. When many clusters are in bloom, the purple cloud of color they form above the foliage is spectacular! It also attracts the hummingbirds and butterflies too. Foliage and new stems are usually coated with stinging hairs much like those found on stinging nettle so a bit of caution is needed when handling.

Identification credit: Umesh Tiwari Photographed near Shivpuri, Narendranagar Forest Division, Uttarakhand.

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