Ruellia persica Burm. f.
Perennial, greyish-pubescent to glabrescent, up to 30 cm tall, basally branched herb. Leaves with up to 1.2 cm long petiole; lamina coriaceous, oblong to lanceolate, 2-6 x 0.8-2 cm, margins entire to remotely spinulose, puberulous above, apex spine tipped, evanescent. Inflorescence a dense, strobilate spike. Flowers purplish-blue, fading to white, 1.5-2 cm long; bracts 4-rowed, ovate, 3-5 cm long, hairy on both sides, patent, apex long-acuminate with a sharp, 1.5-3.5 cm long spine at tip, margins with 3-5 pairs of lateral spines; bracteoles linear-subulate, 1-1.5 cm long, villose. Calyx scarious, ± membranous, soft hairy, 4-lobed, lobes unequal, upper lobe longest, 2-3-lobed, lateral small. Corolla tube short, c. 5 mm long, upper lip absent, lower lip flat with 3 obtuse lobes, puberulous. Capsule compressed-ovate, 6-7 mm long, glabrous, acu¬minate.
Fl. Per.: August-October.
Type: “Habitat in India”.
Distribution: East Tropical Africa, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, eastwards to Pakistan.
Common in stony and gravel desert of S.W. Pakistan (Baluchistan province).
Used as fodder for sheep and camels; seeds are used for the treatment of sore eyes.