Golden Himalayan Spike
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Golden Himalayan Spike
P Native Herb Unknown Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Golden Himalayan Spike • Hindi: Gajar moola, Van Mooli
Botanical name: Phlomoides superba    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Eremostachys superba, Eremostachys laciniata var. superba

Golden Himalayan Spike is a rare, threatened, handsome Himalayan plant. Root is thick, woody, vertical; collar woolly or scarcely so. Stems are simple, 40-80 cm, usually with a thin indumentum of simple hairs. Leaves are oblong to ovate in outline, simple and rounded toothed to pinnately cut with lobed to sawtoothed margins. Blade is about 10-20 x 5-10 cm, on both surfaces with a sparse indumentum of short or longer simple hairs; leaf-stalk upto about 10 cm. Flowers are borne in 7-14 spikes. Spikes are composed of distant, 8-12-flowered clusters, which are white woolly. Bracts are 1/2-2/3 length of calyx, ovate-lanceshaped to lanceshaped, spinulose. Calyx is broadly ovate-bell-shaped, 12-15 mm, somewhat leathery, teeth ending in 1-2 mm spines. Flowers are 2.5-3.0 cm, yellow; upper lip hairy and white bearded with simple hairs only; lower lip subequal to or longer than upper, sometimes with a very broad median lobe; tube included in calyx, without an annulus. Nutlets 7 x 3.5 mm, brown black, trigonous. Golden Himalayan Spike is found in Western Himalayas, Flowering: March-April.
Medicinal uses: Gujjar tribe use its tubers for increasing lactation in their cattle.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed in Botanical Survey of India, Dehradun.

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