Alectra sessiliflora (Vahl) Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. 2: 458. 1891. Gerardia sessiliflora Vahl, Alectra melampyroides Benth., Nigrina sessiliflora (Vahl) Kuntze, Melasma sessiliflorum (Vahl) Hiern,  Alectra sessiliflora (Vahl) Kuntze var. sessiliflora; Rhinanthus scaber Thunb., Bartsia scabra (Thunb.) Sprengel; Glossostylis avensis Benth., Alectra indica Benth. in DC., Melasma indicum Wettst., Alectra dentata Kuntze, Alectra avensis (Benth.) Merrill, Melasma avensis (Benth.) Hand.-Mazz.; Alectra senegalensis Benth., Alectra sessiliflora var. senegalensis (Benth.) Hepper; Alectra cordata Benth., Glossostylis cordata (Benth.) Hochst. Ex Richard, Melasma cordatum (Benth.) Engler; Alectra asperrima Benth. in DC., Glossostylis asperrima Hochst. ex Benth. in DC., Melasma asperrimum (Benth.) Engler; Alectra arabica Deflers; Melasma indicum var. monticola Engl., Alectra sessiliflora var. monticola (Engl.) Melch.; Melasma barbatum Hiern, Alectra barbata (Hiern) Melch., Alectra sessiliflora var. sessiliflora forma barbata (Hiern) Hilliard & Burtt; Alectra trinervis Hemsl.; Alectra communis Hemsl.; Alectra ledermannii Engl.; Alectra moeroensis Engl.; Alectra aberdarica Chiov.; Alectra schliebenii Melch.; Alectra congolensis Troupin; Alectra ibityensis Eb. Fisch.; Alectra senegalensis Benth. var. pallescens Bonati; Alectra senegalensis var. minima A. Chev.; Alectra rupestris Bonati; Alectra madagascariensis Bonati; Alectra principis Bonati; Alectra ramosa Bonati; Alectra stricta Bonati) as per efi thread (as per Taxonomic Revision of the Alectra sessiliflora Complex (Orobanchaceae)– Jeffery J. Morawetz 1 , 2 and Andrea D. Wolfe- Systematic Botany (2011), 36(1): pp. 141–152);
China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan), Taiwan, Bhutan, India, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Myanmar [Burma], Philippines, South Africa (Transvaal, KwaZulu-Natal), Java, Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam as per Catalogue of Life;

SK99SEP12-1016:ID : 24 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (10)
Sharing some pictures for ID shot at Gund Bhaktapur Nepal on 11 September 2016 at 5100 ft.

Lindenbergia ??

Did not find any match tobtjr Lindenbergia.

Scrophulariaceae member.
Any chance of Rhinanthus, though Rhinanthus is not known in Nepal flora of China list one species.

It was unfortunate that when I went to the spot after a couple of weeks to get pictures of the plant there was no trace of any plant.
However, from your hint and comparison of web pictures I guess it could be Rhinanthus minor L. (accepted name).
Request experts for opinion.
Attachments (1)

Does not match with the illustration at the given link (of Rhinanthus glaber Lamarck syn: Rhinanthus major Ehrhart): 

Looks like difficult one!

This plant is neither Rhinanthus minor (known as ‘Yellow-Rattle’ in the UK) nor R.glaber recorded from China. Neither have records for Nepal nor anywhere in the Himalaya proper, as far as I know.
I shall see what I or others can come up with. These sub-tropical locations and associated flora are not familiar territory for me…..  Hopefully someone else can “come to the rescue”. Seems quite distinctive, so someone should be able to recognise it.
By the way, two ‘Rhinanthus’ was included in ‘Flora of British India’ one a synonym for Pedicularis bifida (Scrophulariaceae)
the other for Geniospermum elongatum (Lamiaceae).

I invested some time to find the ID of this plant which I have never seen in nature.
It is either Melasma avense (=Alectra avensis) of Scrophulariaceae or a species very close to it.

Well Done. I am in agreement that your suggestion is awfully close. Pity the images do not show fully developed flowers or better close-ups.
‘Enumeration of Flowering Plants of Nepal’  say 1000-2600m Himalaya, India, east to W&C China, Malaysia.
But the nomenclature is complicated. They have it as Melasma arvense. Hooker knew it as Alectra indica.
Whichever genus is currently accepted, they have been transferred from Scrophulariaceae to Orobanchaceae.
I hear some non-botanists thinking that not only do taxonomists change species names and names of genera but families as well!
Unfortunately, M.arvense is not currently an accepted name on ‘The Plant List’ – I cannot readily find which genus it is included under here?

Thanks, … It is under Orobanchaceae as per the Plant List Ver. 1.1

Hell of a task for all. Thank you all for the painstaking efforts for the ID.
Now do we presume accepted name according to the Catalogue of life, India Biodiversity Portal and Bhutan Diversity Portal as  :
Alectra avensis (Benth.) Merr. (accepted name
synMelasma avense ??

But what is the accepted name for ‘The Plant List’?

Link  Which one to rely upon?

Thanks for tracking down Alectra sessiflora on ‘The Plant List’ – this is the one you should always go to first and have the greatest confidence in (though is not perfect with the Google images simply obtained [without permission or contacting anyone – some of my photos and links to a site I have taken down are used and rely on the identification efforts of all sorts of people – many cannot be relied upon but some are correct; also the Kew herbarium site has two main problems in the
some of the names used for the specimens are out-of-date synonyms plus the images are not of high resolution, so one cannot see much detail).
It is a collaboration between the RBG, Kew and the Missouri Botanical Garden – two of the leading botanical institutions in the world.  This site therefore out-ranks anything else – unless you have a site which has input from those specialising in the region or country who can improve upon what ‘The Plant List’ offers –
not many sites do.

‘The Plant List’ is the most reliable but far from perfect – as, unfortunately, is the case with plant identification, it is not as exact as we would like.   The plants themselves do not allow it to be!   And as I keep saying, the flora of the Himalaya (my speciality) and India as a whole is imperfectly known.

Thanks, …, Earlier it was GRIN, which was supposed to be very good, but it did gave only a few synonyms.

After that there were some efforts by ITIS & Species 2000.
Further things changed with the coming of The Plant List in 2012, which I think was further modified in 2014 with Ver. 1.1, to reduce the anomalies. But it is based on fixed datasets taken from different sources like WCSP, ILDIS, GCC etc. However, there are still lot of discrepancies. But here the most important thing is to check the underlying source like WCSP, ILDIS, GCC etc. before arriving at any decision.
Now Catalogue of Life has been released in 2016 (with the working together of  ITIS & Species 2000 along with WCSP & other databases), which I find is generally better than the The Plant List Ver. 1.1.
Pl. see its details at
Along with the resources as above, we can also check in different efloras like Flora of China, Flora of Pakistan, BSI Flora of India & local floras etc. & take a final decision based on ones’ judgement.

Thank you … I guess CoL is more reliable for ID.

I am still very new both to ‘The Plant List’ and ‘Catalogue of Life’.
Whether or not CoL has higher standing in the world of taxonomy, I cannot say at present but even if it does, then one would only go here for, in theory more reliable NOMENCLATURE and TAXONOMIC treatment.
The important question is RELIABILITY of IDENTIFICATION – all CoL provides is a NAME.
Whereas ‘The Plant List’ allows me to look at images of each species (where they exist and bearing in mind many are misidentified, though I can usually judge their reliability) and herbarium specimens at Kew (when they exist and bearing in mind Kew often has plants named using an old synonym not necessarily the currently accepted name in ‘The Plant List’ or CoL.
A plant is still CORRECTLY identified even if one uses an older synonym.
Identification is one thing, nomenclature and taxonomic treatments are separate.
In the early days of ‘The Plant Finder’ in the UK (which lists by genus and species) plants availale in cultivation from nurseries not much effort was put into consistent and reliable nomenclature.  Then much effort (and some expertise) was put in but there was confusion between up-to-date names (correctly spelt) and reliable identifications.  Just because a nursery says they are growing a particular plant is what they claim
does not guarantee it – I repeat that my informal studies suggest at least 50% of plants in cultivation under Himalayan names, whether seed companies, specialist nurseries or botanic garden Index Semina, are misidentified.
Just because a nursery has a picture on the internet names as a Himalayan species does not mean it actually is.



“Alectra sessiliflora (Orobanchaceae) from Uttarakhand: DSR_Sept.2017_6” : 6 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (3)
This species was photographed near Lilam village (1900m) on way to Ralam in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.
Earlier … uploaded few pics of a species from Nepal which were ultimately identified as Alectra avensis (Orobanchaceae). Obviously, in eFI this species was being represented by images of … from Nepal. Presently, I am uploading the images taken in Uttarakhand, India.
A new study concludes that A. avensis and A. sessiliflora are same and keep them under the name A. sessiliflora (Vahl) Kuntze thus reducing A. avensis as a synonym of it.

Alectra avensis (Benth.) Merr. : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6)
Location: Chobhar, Nepal
Altitude:  4500 ft.
Date: 21 September 2018

Habit : Wild


Alectra avensis (Benth.) Merr. : 2 posts by 1 author. Attachments (3)- 1, 2, & 3 mb. 

Location: Ranikot, Gundu, Bhakltapur 
Date: 15 September 2019
Elevation: 2006 m.
Habit : Wild

Attachments (2) – 1 & 6 mb.

This herb with sessile leaves is from Mizoram .. Looks like from Scrophulariaceae family.
Date/Time: 10-11-2008 / 12:10PM
Location: Near Reiek Peak, Ailawng, Mizoram.
Habitat: Wild
Plant Habit: Herb. (erect, with hairy stem), 20 to 25

…, check these –

I think Verbascum chinense.

Well, I am wrong then. I thought flowers are sessile, campanulate, with peculiar characteristic greenish-yellow curved structure at the centre.

I request you to take a relook. The flowers of this herb is entirely different from the other posts on Verbascum chinense (L.) Santapau. Long inflexed style is characteristically different to almost straight shorter one of Verbascum chinense (L.) Santapau. Besides, flowers are subtended by leaves or leaf-like bracts and linear oblong bracteoles.

I agree with … this does not look like Verbascum chinense..

Thank you very much Sir.

Illustration of Alectra sessiliflora (Vahl) Kuntze and images of several species (incl. A. sessiliflora and A. avensis ) can be found at Parasitic plants. A taxonomic revision of A. sessiliflora can be found at ResearchGate.

Scrophulariaceae Verbascam Chinese

I am afraid if this is Verbascum chinense none other post in—z/s/scrophulariaceae/verbascum/verbascum-chinense can be Verbascum chinense.

The differences are too many and I have already mentioned a few in my earlier mails. Besides the sessile flowers and style character, larger (than flower) bracts, bractioles, sepals character ….. all are different.  It can never be Verbascum chinense.

Alectra avensis (Benth.) Merr. !

[efloraofindia:33855] Herb for ID? 030510-PKA3 : Attachments (3). 6 posts by 5 authors.

This herb is again from Mizoram with sessile leaves.. Looks like from Scrophulariaceae family.
Date/Time: 10-11-2008 / 12:10PM
Location: Near Reiek Peak, Ailawng, Mizoram.
Habitat: Wild
Plant Habit: Herb. (erect, with hairy stem), 20 to 25 cm 

I think Verbascum chinensis

I too think Verbascum chinense

This does not look like Verbascum chinensis…..
the plant is hirsute, even the bracts are much different than V. chinensis.
observe the corolla tube, in V. chinensis the parallel streaks are absent. the calyx lobes have a line of hairs which is absent in V. chinensis (in it is viscidly pubescent)

Alectra avensis (Benth.) Merr.!

Yes It’s,


Requesting I’d assistance of unknown herb: 2 high res. images.
kindly help in the identification of an unknown herb with yellow flowers.

Elevation – 1300m
Location – Kalimpong, West Bengal.
Flowers not opening widely.
Flowers very perishable, opening for a very short time. 
Leaves lanceolate with serrate margin. 
Fruit- globose. 
Kindly check the attached photograph.

Alectra avensis (Benth.) Merr. Syn: Melasma avense (Benth.) Hand.-Mazz.

To me it appears close to images at Alectra sessiliflora
BSI Flora of India only gives distribution of this species in Sikkim.
Keys, if one can find, will further help.

Resambles A.sessiliflora in closer morphological observation. I couldn’t find any record of the species from West Bengal.

Can your find Keys between the two?

Flora of Sikkim shows the record of A.avensis and not A.sessiliflora. The picture of the species in FOS is exact similar to the the specimen I found. Thus it can be assumed that the specimen from Sikkim and kalimpong both are same and is A.avensis. POWO images of A.sessiliflora are much different with blackish margin on leaves and the leaf serration is also not as prominent as A.arvensis.

In view of contradictory inf., It is better we analyse based on the keys.
So keys have to be found first.

new study concludes that A. avensis and A. sessiliflora are the same and keep them under the name A. sessiliflora (Vahl) Kuntze thus reducing A. avensis as a synonym of it.
Pl. see Taxonomic Revision of the Alectra sessiliflora Complex (Orobanchaceae)– Jeffery J. Morawetz 1 , 2 and Andrea D. Wolfe- Systematic Botany (2011), 36(1): pp. 141–152);



efi thread (as per Taxonomic Revision of the Alectra sessiliflora Complex (Orobanchaceae)– Jeffery J. Morawetz 1 , 2 and Andrea D. Wolfe- Systematic Botany (2011), 36(1): pp. 141–152)
Catalogue of Life  The Plant List Ver.1.1  Tropicos  IPNI
GBIF (with type specimen) Flora of China  FOC illustration  EOL  India Biodiversity Portal Bhutan Biodiversity Portal  phytoimages  IBIS Flora

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