Hitchhiker Elephant Ear
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Hitchhiker Elephant Ear
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Hitchhiker Elephant Ear • Kannada: ಕಾಡು ಗಡ್ಡೆ kadu gadde, ಮರಕೆಸು marakesu • Konkani: रुखाळूं rukhalum • Malayalam: മരച്ചേമ്പ് marachembu, മരതാള് maratal • Marathi: लालकंद lalkand, रुखाळूं rukhalu • Nepali: जलुका jalukaa, कालो पिडालु kaalo pidaalu • Sanskrit: लक्ष्मणा laksmana • Tulu: ಮರಚೆವು marachevu, ಮರತೇವು marathevu Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Remusatia vivipara    Family: Araceae (Arum family)
Synonyms: Arum viviparum, Colocasia vivipara, Remusatia formosana

Hitchhiker Elephant Ear is a tuberous plant with erect, simple, stout runners carrying lot of ellipsoid bubils, 0.5-2.5 mm, stout with bristles up to 1.5 mm. Cataphylls 4 or more, brownish, broad, concealing flower-cluster-stalk, about 15 × 3 cm. Leaf-stalks are 19-42 cm, proximal 1/4 sheathing. Leaves are glossy on both sides, pale green below, green above, oblong-ovate or lanceshaped, 11-33 x 7-19.5 cm, sinus 1.5-3 cm; intramarginal vein indistinct. Flowering happens before leaves develop. Flower-cluster-stalk 6-12 cm. Spathe tube green outside, 3-5 × 1.3-2 cm; limb initially erect, later reflexed, yellow inside, obovate, 5.3-11.5 × 2.5-9 cm, narrowed to base, tip pointed, apiculate. Spadix: female zone 1.7-2 cm × 7-9 mm, with 3 or 4 whorls of sterile ovaries at tip and 1 or 2 whorls at base; sterile zone 1.1-2.5 cm, slender, tapering distally; male zone is yellowish, club-shaped, cylindric, 1.5-2.2 cm x 4-7 mm. It is found in W Africa, Himalayas, Western Ghats, Sri Lanka, Indo-China and Java. Flowering: April-September.

Identification credit: Giby Kuriakose Photographed at Korigad Fort, Lonavala, Maharashtra.

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