Blue Sage, Eranthemum • Hindi: गुलशाम Gulsham • Tamil: Neelamulli • Telugu: Neelambaramu;
Evergreen shrub; leaves elliptic-ovate to elliptic, 10-20 cm long, prominently nerved, narrowed towards base, hairy on nerves beneath; flowers blue, in up to 7 cm long spike; bracts mottled green and white, bracts elliptic, cuspidate and glabrous; bracteoles narrowly lanceolate, 4-5 mm long; calyx lobes linear-lanceolate, unequal in size, 6 mm long; corolla tube dilated near top, limb with unequal lobes; stamens 2; capsule 12-15 mm long

Eranthemum pulchelum Andrews, Bot. Repos. 2: t. 88. 1800
syn: Eranthemum nervosum (Vahl) R. Br. ex Roem. & Schult.
Evergreen shrub; leaves elliptic-ovate to elliptic, 10-20 cm long, prominently nerved, narrowed towards base, hairy on nerves beneath; flowers blue, in up to 7 cm long spike; bracts mottled green and white, bracts elliptic, cuspidate and glabrous; bracteoles narrowly lanceolate, 4-5 mm long; calyx lobes linear-lanceolate, unequal in size, 6 mm long; corolla tube dilated near top, limb with unequal lobes; stamens 2; capsule 12-15 mm long

Photographed from Delhi.

yes very nice and spectacular green and white bract


Eranthemum pulchellum from Delhi thanks Shikant ji’s key: I think the riddle for me and .. is finally solved, thanks to .. key and .. attachment
Eranthemum roseum and E. pulchellum are clearly very distinct
In E. roseum the spike is much longer but narrower usually longer than 7 cm, bracts are obovate, mucronate and strigose. This can be clearly seen in photographs by .. and …

In E. pulchellum (syn: E. nervosum) the spikes are much shorter usually shorter than 7 cm, broader, bracts elliptic, cuspidate and glabrous. This can be clearly seen in my photographs attached here.
In both these species the bracts are mottled green and white as against E. purpurascens where they are uniformally green
I am not familiar with Almeida’s Flora, but notice that his key for Eranthemum does not seem to be working on more then one counts:
1. He records bracts as green in both E purpurascens and E. pulchellum, whereas they are mottled green and white in E. pulchellum
2. Spikes are not interrupted in E. pulchellum and bracts clearly longer than 1 cm
3. Bracts are densely hairy in both E. purpurascens and E. roseum.

– there is some variation in Dr. Almeida’s keys (Proof -reading errors?) and the description following each species of Eranthemum. As per your observations of E. pulchellum the following description from the flora matches for E. pulchellum for the bracts -I am quoting the entire description: A shrub 0.6-1.5 meter high, Leaves upto 20 cm long and 10 cm broad, ovate, lineolate,  apex acuminate entire or  blunt crenulate. It has  white, concave, ovate, acuminate bracts green nerves and veins and blue flowers in uninterrupted spikes often forming  a terminal panicle.”
Again for E. roseum the detailed description of  both bracts and  bracteoles is given I quotePeduncles quadrangular,bracts 9mm long , obovate, with a reflexed mucro, white with  very prominent raised green nerves, densely hairy on the midrib and  ciliate on the margins with long hair; bracteoles as long as or slightly  longer than the calyx , narrowly linear, acute , densely  clothed on the back and ciliate with long white hair  Before going through both the description I was sure your plant is not E. roseum but the fading flowers turning red as seen in one of your pictures, is it also a charecterisitic of E. pulchellum. If so than the riddle is solved.

– The description matches, but some problem with his key.


Flowers from Uttarakhand-ID requested_DS11052011_SN2: These blue tiny flowers were seen on wayside shrubs uttarakhand – Apr 2011. Again very common there.
Please provide proper id.

I think Eranthemum pulchellum (syn: E. nervosum).

This is Eranthemum pulchellum


Eranthemum pulchellum Andrews, Bot. Repos. 2: t. 88 1800.
syn: Upudalia pulchella (Andrews) Raf.; Eranthemum nervosum (Vahl) R.Br. ex Roem. & Schult.
evergreen shrub with prominently veined up to 20 cm long ovate leaves; fls in axillary and terminal spikes; bracts prominent with green and white markings; corolla blue, tube 2.5 cm long, lobes spreading.
Commonly grown in Delhi, Photographed from Khalsa College Delhi
Common name: Blue sage
Key to common species grown in India
Bracts white with green nerves 
   Bracts elliptic, cuspidate, glabrous and spikes upto 7.5 cm…..E. pulchellum Andr.

   Bracts obovate, mucronate, strigose and spikes longer than 7.5 cm….E. roseum (Vahl.) R. Br.
Bracts green,
Bracts many nerved, white ciliate on margins…………………….E. purpurascens Nees
Bracts few nerved, viscous hairy………………….E. capens L. var. concanense (T. And. C. B. Cl.) Sant.

They are well illustrated in the thread

Sir ji can you please upload the photo of E. roseum, bcoz its quite confusing between E. pulchella and E. roseum.. I dont know about North but in Western part this plants remains for just 8 month and they dry up in summer..

It is there in the link of the other mail that I had given. .. had uploaded and given key for 3, I added this one and improved the key in that mail.


Eranthemum roseum vs E. pulchellum: In past two months there have been few uploads of Eranthemum photographs.
.. gave following key
1. Bracts green with white ciliate margin, acuminate at apex…….E. purpurascens
1. Bracts white with green nerves, mucronate at apex……………..E. roseum
We have one shrub growing in Delhi identified as E. nervosum, which has bracts similar to E. roseum with green and white portions. It is now considered as synonym of E. pulchellum. Also E. roseum and E. pulchellum are considered as distinct species, and in spite of trying a lot I could not find the differences between the two and am not able to decide whether our plant is E. roseum or E. pulchellum. It was pleasant surprise to find that
… had raised this question in 2007.
Any clues please

Bracts white with green nerves
Bracts elliptic, cuspidate, glabrous and spikes upto 7.5 cm…E. pulchellum Andr.
         Bracts obovate, mucronate, strigose and spikes longer than 7.5 cm….E. roseum (Vahl.) R. Br.
E. pulchellum is native to N. Bengal, planted and escape elsewhere, E. roseum is native to W. peninsula.

… many thanks for surfacing my query put at UBC (where .. currently belongs).
The differences between E. roseum and E. pulchellum are not yet clear to me … for the only fact : not sure whether the latter is found in northern Western Ghats.
If both of them are known to be distributed in northern Western Ghats, then the differences are very important to me.

Sometime later settled with the thinking that E. pulchellum has quite a few spikes closely rising at the end of stem (or branches) … while E. roseum, commonly found in my vicinity has just one OR two spikes … (will
stand corrected). There could be better and clearer difference(s) between the two species.

I had to put this question because while resurfacing the photographs of another species (identified as E. purpurascence), the doubts arose in mind.
Perhaps soon we would resurface all these together, and my plant from Delhi which I knew as E. nervosum (now correctly E. pulchellum) which needs to be checked for both E. roseum and E. pulchellum, apparently close species which can be confused. As suggested by … the differences are largely based on spike size and bracts shape. Let us concentrate on that for both Delhi plant and those from Western Ghats.

Sir my general question regarding this species which I have been asking many to verify : Was there any smell, fragrance ?

Sir, in case this helps, here are the keys from Dr. Almeida’s flora for Eranthemum L.  Vol  IV,  A pg: 36
1.Flowers reddish -pink——-E. cinnabarinum
1.Flowers blue——-2
2. Bracts densely pubescent—–E. pubescens
2. Bracts glabrous or faintly hairy——-3
3.Bracts white with green veins, obovate, obtuse, with a short reflexed mucro———4
4. Plants with many erect branches springing from a common base———E. wattii
          4. Plants with single stem, branched above, not in clumps——5
5. Flowers 3-4 cm across — E. roseum
              5. Flowers upto 2.5 cm across——E. roseum var. parviflorum
3.Bracts greeen, elliptic, ovate, acuminate——6
6. Flowers in dense, usually solitary, uninterrupted spikes; bracts exceeding 2 cm long-purpurascens
6. Flowers in interrupted usually paniculate spikes; bracts less than 1 cm long——-7
7. Leaves  elliptic——-  E. fastigiatum
7. Leaves  ovate—–E. pulchellum

Hope this could be of some help to you. Will try to find some time out for the other protologue.
If you are unable to translate, then please let me know. I will do it FOR YOU.

I will have closer look on the plant on Monday and perhaps report back. It would also help in deciding which key (one supplied by.., and one by ..) is more useful, or else a better key can be evolved based on
characters from both the keys (since they focus on different key characters) and … attachment.

I think issue was resolved vide the following thread:
efi thread #

efloraindia: 201011 BRS 69:   Pl. find the attached file contain photos for id. confirmation. look like some Nilgirianthus/Strobilanthus ? sp.
Saplings purchased from Aliyar, Pollachi. Forest Dept. Nursery during the  month of Sep. 2011. Flowering was noticed on 15.10.2011.

Eranthemum pulchellum (syn: E. nervosum)


Kalatope id Al041212:  Another flower from Chamera Dam side for id…
Location Kalatope, Chamba
Altitude 1200 mts
habit herb
habitat wild
height 2 feet
season April

This should be Eranthemum nervosum…

Eranthemum pulchellum
Flowers of India

Yes Eranthemum pulchellum (syn: E. nervosum).


Eranthemum for ID : Delhi : 190612 : AK-1: A cultivated, garden plant, in Delhi.

Pictures taken in March,12

Height of plants around 4 feet.

how about Eranthemum pulchellumBlue Sage

Thanks for the id….you are right.

This is the ‘Blue Sage’.


Eranthemum pulchellum Garden plant Pune.: This garden plant is seen flowering every year in this season near my house. No recognisable smell or aroma…
A shrub around 4 feet tall. Bracts white+green elliptic. Their apices are not everted as in Eranthemum roseum which is a wild plant.
(My observation apart from the key by … and …)
On searching the earlier discussions on the group I can say that it is Eranthemum pulchellum Andr.
Please validate.

This is surely a set of picture ….

Very good photographs.


Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Eranthemum sp from Panni Knoh Water falls Near Maihar MP:

Eranthemum sp from Panni Knoh Water falls Near Maihar MP
to me it looks Eranthemum pulchellum Andrews

pls validate

Yes … Another nice set of photographs

looks like Eranthemum purpurascens

Kindly go through the key developed by … and me

Thanks a lot … for the key, The flora of Pachmarhi & Flora of Raipur have mentioned only one speceis named as E. purpurascens Nees.The plant posted by … is very common in M.P. during winter.

Thanks … for information. I dont have this flora. It will be kind of you if you pls send me the name of Author(s) and Publisher so that I can procure this.

the information regarding two floras is as following

1. FLORA OF INDIA – Series 3.
2. FLORA OF INDIA – Series 3

Published by – BOTANICAL SURVEY OF INDIA, Department of Environment.

The plant posted appears to be wild one and even going by the key; I think this looks like Eranthemum roseum rather than E. pulchellum which is ornamental.
I compared the flowers with my collection ….The clusters of yellow anthers are similar to those of E.roseum.
Will wait for further comments though.

This plant is becoming interesting

1. I could not feel any fragrance in this flower, However as i remember i did’t try to smell it after plucking, but while this was in my hand and i was taking shot no fragrance was felt.
2. This was confined in only a small shady and moist area there in the 8-9 kms way we observed this in a small patch only
3. feature of stamens as indicated by … point towards E. roseum
4. Spike was not so long as seen in E roseum

waiting for more comments and adding a close up of flowers

Please note that in E. roseum the bracts are obovate and broadest near the tip and with a small mucro at tip. Here they are clearly narrowed and pointed at tip. Also the spike is much narrower and longer in E. roseum.

So it is E pulchellum finally!!!!!!

thanks for clarification Sir


Ex-situ Silviculture : might be Eranthemum pulchellum Andrews :  4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6).

Nice clicks …

Thank you Sir, this plant had no name-plate and I have used KEY in efi thread


This lone picture was clicked from Chakrata area, during a visit last year,
I hope this can be Eranthemum pulchellum..

Please correct, if otherwise..


Seen in a home garden.


This shrub was found growing around periphery of lake Renuka Ji..

Eranthemum pulchellum…?

Using eFI KEY I did id mine. I agree. Don’t know if it can grow wild there.

Attached are pictures of Eranthemum pulchellum captured in a cultivated garden in Mumbai in November 2012.

Requested to validate the ID.

eFI database doesn’t help, for there is lack of clarity in different threads.

As per FoP, flowering season should be Feb-March

No. of lateral nerves should be about 10 pairs which is not visible in the attached pictures, but which is visible in some other threads in eFI database. Of-course thread with less no. of nerves got validated by Gurcharan Sir in the same database.

Thanks … for the feedback….

Unfortunately, I do not have any more pics…..

Excellent analysis by …, a dedicated expert. Nevertheless, your ID seems to be correct as it is difficult to arrive at the number of  nerves based on one leaf.
You may also check  this  Toptropicals.

Thank you very much … Actually I didn’t oppose the id, merely stated the fact! Flowering season as well as no. of nerves are often discussed in our group. Both are no doubt important points to identify a species. My view is one should not stress much on those two points, because, 1) to count no. of nerves one need to examine a number of mature leaves, say from the mid portion of a plant, 2) flowering season may vary to some extent to a wild species, much extent to a cultivated one.

Yes, I do agree with the id, I have already hinted that in my earlier reply!


Acanthaceae plant seen near the Jim Corbett Waterfall.


Size of flowers?

Taken on the 24 th of March,2013.

Is it Ruellia species?

Looks like E.pulchellum which is common in the area.

Could the members of this esteemed group provide an identity for this flowering shrub from a bunglow garden in Sector 4, Chandigarh. It is currently in bloom.

This looks like Eranthemum pulchelluma wild taxon basically, may be the grower was attracted by the bloom and have introduced this in home garden. And obviously this shrub has not disappointed the grower..!!

Thanks very much, … What would be its common name, is it common in gardens?

Eranthemum pulcherrima, commonly called Blue Sage or Gulsham, occurs wild in H.P.
Similarly, Pseudocaryopteris bicolor can also be seen in gardens of Chandigarh.

Is Eranthemum pulcherrima the same as Eranthemum pulchellum, as identified by …?

I think correct name is Eranthemum pulchellum only as per images herein.

Yes …

It was changed by mobile dictionary itself. I did not notice it earlier. I had typed it Eranthemum pulchellum.


Re: SK791 11 OCT-2017:ID : 6 posts by 2 authors.
Location: Beni, Myagdi, Nepal
Date : 12 April  2017
Elavation : 3000 ft.

Pl. check comparative images at /species/a—l/a/acanthaceae/eranthemum

Thank you …! Eranthemum pulchellum Andrews

Nepali Name : निल गाठे Nil Gaathe

Does not matches with images at Eranthemum pulchellum Andrews
Also I could not find a match with comparative images at  Eranthemum
I also tried a match as per Checklist of Nepal, but did not succeed.

Was it cultivated ?

Any clue ?

Appears close to images at Eranthemum pulchellum
But bract markings are missing.



Acanthaceae week MS 060611 -35: This is an ornamental perennial plant from Chennai. Photographed during 2006. A small shrub. Flowers are deep blue. ID requested.

Eranthemum, perhaps E. pulchellum but a better shot of bracts and view of inflorescence should help for conclusion

I guess it is close to Eranthemum pulchellum Andrews


Herb from Talakona
2 images.

Found this plant in Talakona forest on the way to falls.

Eranthemum roseum

Can you show a good close of the bracts, which is not clear even on enlarging?
I am doubtful as per images at Eranthemum roseum

Has it got distribution in AP? FoPI says no.

We have distribution in Andhra Pradesh, it’s Occasional,

1 close up.

More likely to be Eranthemum pulchellum as per images and details herein.