FoI
Desert Hyacinth   
Foto info
Desert Hyacinth
ative Photo: Nandan Kalbag
Common name: Desert hyacinth, Fox radish, Lonki-ka-mula (Hindi)
Botanical name: Cistanche tubulosa     Family: Orobanchaceae (Desert hyacinth family)

Desert hyacinth is all-flower bearing parasite plant, growing on roots of desert shrubs. It is a rare and endangered species. Most pereferred host for this parasite is Salvadora persica. Desert hyacinth is unable to synthesise chlorophyll directly and therefore has no green colouration. It is a widely distributed annual that produces a dense pyramid spike of bright yellow flowers topped by maroon-tinted buds. Its many tiny seeds may remain dormant for years until the roots of its host plant are close enough to trigger germination. The plant is able to tolerate saline environments and is most found in arid regions of Rajasthan, Punjab and Pakistan.
Medicinal uses: In Taiwan, Desert hyacinth is traditionally used as a tonic drug for deficiency of the kidney characterized by impotence, cold sensation in the loins and knees, female sterility, and constipation due to dryness of the bowel in the senile.

Identification credit: Nandan Kalbag
Photographed in Pokhran, Rajasthan.
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