Himalayan Wild Rhea
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Himalayan Wild Rhea
ative Photo: Alok Mahendroo
Common name: Himalayan Wild Rhea • Hindi: Puruni, Siaru, Siharu • Nepali: तुषारे Tushare • Mizo: Zu-la
Botanical name: Debregeasia saeneb    Family: Urticaceae (Nettle family)

Himalayan Wild Rhea is an evergreen tall shrub or small tree. Stem has dark brown fibrous bark scabrous, young shoots whitish velvety. Leaves are carried on up to 2.5 cm long, densely velvety stalk. Leaf balde is oblong - lanceshaped 2-15 cm long, 0.6-3 cm broad, silvery velvety beneath, rough and bristly above, toothed, pointed. Stipules are linear-lanceshaped up to about 1 cm long, brown, deciduous. Male flower clusters are larger than female flower heads. Sepal cup of male flowers is bell-shaped, streaked orange-red and white, velvet-hairy outside, 4-lobed, shorter than brown bracteoles, tubular-ovoid with narrowed mouth in female flowers. Stamens are 3-5, protruding, anthers pale purple. Fruit is fleshy, yellow, about 1.5 mm long, pointed. Himalayan Wild Rhea is found in Iran, Afghanistan, Himalayas, from Kashmir to Nepal, at altitudes of 1500-2400 m. Flowering: March-June.

Identification credit: Ritesh Choudhary, Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Kalatope-Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.

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