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Common Name : Dry Zone Purple Bell     -       Scientific Name : Stenosiphonium cordifolium (Acanthaceae)       -       Other Name : Bu-nelu, Nelu
Phill Motte
02/09/2017
Kudapatessa to Mahapatessa
01/12/2019
Kudapatessa to Mahapatessa
01/12/2019
Pallekandal to Phill Motte
02/09/2019
Pallekandal to Phill Motte
02/09/2019
Tala Wila to Pallekanda pitiya
01/27/2019

This gregarious small shrub is common in the dry lowlands and intermediate forests of the country.  It is found only in Sri Lanka and India.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

 The Dry Zone Purple Bell is a host plant for one of the smallest Lycanid butterflies in the country, which is aptly named the Tiny Grass Blue.

In Wilpattu this is an extremely common species, which grows along most open roads in the core areas of the park. But interestingly despite visiting the park continuously, at least once every month, from 2012 I only observed flowers of this species for the first time in April 2014. Since then I have observed flowers between December and February every year until 2020 (the year of writing this note).

One of the most captivating sights in Wilpattu national park for any lover of wild flowers would be the sight of hundreds of thousands of these shrubs along jungle roads laden with millions of beautiful bell shaped purple flowers during an early morning game drive.

In January 2019 I observed and photographed a plant of this species with white flowers between Pallekandal pitiya and Tala Wila. I have so far observed flowers of this species in January, February and April.