Fragrant Pipewort
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Fragrant Pipewort
P Native Photo: S. Jeevith
Common name: Fragrant Pipewort • Malayalam: ബടനപൂവു Buttonpoovu
Botanical name: Eriocaulon odoratum    Family: Eriocaulaceae (Pipewort family)
Synonyms: Eriocaulon collinum, Eriocaulon christopheri, Eriocaulon oliveri

Fragrant Pipewort is a highly variable herb with white spherical flower-heads borne singly atop many leafless stems 35-45 cm tall, growing in marshes. Leaves are clustered at the base, up to 10 x 0.3 cm, lanceshaped, pointed at tip, hairless. Flower-cluster-stalks are hairless; sheath to 6 cm long, limb minute. Flower-heads are depressed spherical; involucral bracts 3 x 2 mm, obovate, blunt, hyaline; floral bracts 4 x 1.5 mm, triangular, tapering to a sharp point, sparsely or densely hairy. Female sepals 2 x 1 mm, ovate, concave, hairy along the keel; petals inverted-lanceshaped, hairy, white; seed oblong, appendages many, on transverse walls. Male sepals are united into a 3-lobed sheath, black, hairy; petals 3, unequal, white, one larger anther black. Fragrant Pipewort is endemic to peninsular India, in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Flowering: November-January.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu & Kannur distt., Kerala.

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