Tube Coneflower
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Tube Coneflower
P Native Photo: Dipankar Borah
Common name: Tube Coneflower
Botanical name: Strobilanthes tubiflos    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Strobilanthes petiolaris var. tubiflos

Tube Coneflower is a perennial herb with fibrous roots, which are been rediscovered recently (2020) after a gap of more than 70 years. Flowers are borne in simple or sparingly branched, spikes, in leaf-axils and at branch-ends, mostly 2.5-5.5 cm long. Flowers are 2.75-3 cm long, blue to viole with white basal tube, funnel- shaped, shallowly 5-lobed, lobes nearly equal, about 3 x 5 mm, rounded, the exterior velvet-hairy. Stamens are 2, filaments about 1.5 cm long, white, anthers 2 mm long, pointed, included; staminodes 2, 1.2 cm long, white, style about 2 cm long, white, included. Sepal-cup is nearly equally 5-lobed to base, sepals linear, 5.5-6.5 x about 1 mm, usually slightly exceeding bracts. Flower-cluster-stalks are 1-3.5 cm, bracts at branching points resembling small nearly stalkless leaves, reduced to 7 x 4 mm; floral bracts 5-6 x 3-3.5 mm, obovate-spoon-shaped, rounded to notched, yellow-green, densely covered in yellow-green, sticky, stalkless and stipitate glands, bracteoles 4 x 1.5 mm, inverted-lanceshaped, blunt, indumentum as for floral bracts. Stems are weakly 4-angled, grooved. Leaves are 4.5-16 x 1.8-9 cm, elliptic to oblong-elliptic or ovate-elliptic, tip tapering, base broadly wedge-shaped, tapering into the leaf-stalk, up to 4 cm long, margin sawtoothed-toothed, hairless, lateral veins 6-10 pairs. Capsule 6 mm long, oblong, 4-seeded, comose; seeds 2 × 2 mm, lenticular, appressed velvet-hairy with mucilaginous hairs. Tube Coneflower is endemic to Arunachal Pradesh.

Identification credit: Dipankar Borah Photographed in Pasighat, East-Siang distt, Arunachal Pradesh.

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