Kasturi Kamal
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Kasturi Kamal
ntroduced Photo: Suresh Rana
Common name: Kasturi Kamal, Snowball plant • Hindi: कस्तूरी कमल Kasturi Kamal • Nepali: कपासे फूल Kapase phool
Botanical name: Saussurea gossypiphora    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Kasturi kamal plant looks like a wooly snow-ball. It is a densely white- or grey-wooly more or less globular high altitude plant. Stem 10-20 sm, stout, hollow, enlarged club-shaped and densely leafy above, base covered with black shining leaf bases. Leaves linear, coarsely toothed or lobed, embedded in dense wooly hairs. Flower-heads purple, cylindrical 1.3-2 cm long, deeply embedded in woolly hairs and densely clustered at the top of the stem. Kasturi kamal is native to the Himalayas, and found at altitudes of 4300-5600 m.
Medicinal uses: The wool of this herb is applied to cuts, where it sticks compactly, seals the wound, and stops the bleeding.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Paddar Valley, Kashmir & enrote to Roopkund, Himachal Pradesh.
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