East-Himalayan Balanophora
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East-Himalayan Balanophora
ative Photo: Paulmathi Vinod
Common name: East-Himalayan Balanophora • Mizo: Phung-hnu-te
Botanical name: Balanophora dioica    Family: Balanophoraceae (Balanophora family)

East-Himalayan Balanophora is a root parasite plant, native to the Himalayas, particularly the eastern parts. Rhizomes are ochre yellow, brown, or reddish purple, unbranched or several together in a mass, surface with granular warts or scattered yellow warts. Branches are nearly round 0.5-2.5 cm in diameter. Flowering stems are purple to pink, cylindric, 2-10 cm. Leaves are 3-10, distichous, rarely spirally arranged, imbricate, broadly ovate to ovate-oblong, 1.5-4 × 1.5-2.5 cm, tip blunt to notched. Male flower clusters are broadly ovoid to ellipsoid, 3-3.5 × 2.5-3 cm. Male flowers are very numerous, each subtended by a single bract. Stalks bearing the clusters are 4-9 mm long. Petals are 4 or 5, ovate, 2 mm, reflexed. Female flower-clusters are ellipsoid to narrowly ovoid, 2-5 cm. East-Himalayan Balanophora is found in Bhutan, NE India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim, at altitudes of 1100-2600 m. Flowering: August-October.

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé, Prashant Awale Photographed in Meghalaya & Mizoram.

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