Himalayan Winterfat
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Himalayan Winterfat
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Himalayan Winterfat
Botanical name: Krascheninnikovia ceratoides    Family: Chenopodiaceae (Cat tail family)
Synonyms: Diotis ceratoides, Eurotia ceratoides, Eurotia prostrata

Himalayan Winterfat is a shrub 30-100 cm tall, hoary with starry hairs. Leaves are ovate, oblong, ovate-lanceolate or linear lanceshaped, 1-2.5 cm long, 2.5-10 mm broad, very shortly stalked, blunt or pointed, entire with slightly recurved margins, 1-nerved. Flowers are minute, in clusters in leaf axils, forming spike-like inflorescence at branch ends. Tepals of male flowers are round-ovate, 4-merous obtuse, starry-hairy, membranous; stamens 4. Female flowers are 2-bracteolate, bracteoles united below, fruiting bracteoles united, covered with white or rusty hairs. Ovary is hairy. Fruit is obovoid, apparently 4-angled and 2-horned, about 3 mm long, hidden in false fruit (bracteoles), covered with hairs. Himalayan Winterfat is found in Eurasia and the Himalayas, at altitudes of 3500-4300 m. Fl. Per.: June - September.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh, Miroslav Dvorsky
Photographed on Manali- Leh Route, Lahaul- Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.
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