T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Strobilanthes gossypinus (Persian shield)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Strobilanthes
Species: S. gossypinus
Binominal name: Strobilanthes gossypinus
Common names: Kurunji, Pewter Plant, Persian shield

Strobilanthes gossypinus is small shrub native to the hill country of South India and Sri Lanka. It was introduced to New Zealand in 1997-98 and is now grown widely in Northland as an ornamental plant.
Strobilanthes gossypinus has a rounded, dense habit and will reach about 1.2m x 1.2m. It is a very hairy plant, the leaves, stems, buds and inflorescences are covered the fine hairs. The hairs on the new leaves are golden but they turn a silvery grey on the older leaves.
The underside of the leaves is also very hairy. The species-specific epithet gossypinus (cotton-like) refers to the masses of shiny hairs on the leaves.
The species is semelparous (it is characterised by a single reproductive episode before death) and it is also mast-seeding. Mast seeding or masting is a mass-seeding phenomenon exhibited by some species of plants, which can be defined as "synchronous production of seed at long intervals".
Strobilanthes gossypinus only lives for 2-3years and then dies after flowering. In its final year, it produces small, mauve, tubular flowers during winter and spring on terminal clusters above the leaves. This singular flowering advent is over many months.


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: