Nepal Hogweed
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Nepal Hogweed
P Native Photo: Nimesh Chamling
Common name: Nepal Hogweed • Bhutanese: Trunag, Tunak • Nepali: बुढ़ो औशाधी Budho Aushaadhi • Sikkimese: Chimping • Nepali: बुढो औषधी Budho Aushadhee, भोटे जीरा Bhote Jeeraa, भुतकेश Bhutakesh, फाकी Phaakee
Botanical name: Tetrataenium nepalense    Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Synonyms: Heracleum nepalense, Sium lobatum

Nepal Hogweed is a stout plant, up to 2 m tall. Roots are cylindrical, about 15 cm long. Stem is solitary, velvet-hairy. Basal leaves are long-stalked; leaf blade broad-ovate, 20-45 x 20-35 cm, trifoliolate or 1-2-pinnate, pinnae 3-7 pairs; leaflets broadly ovate, 9-20 x 5-12 cm, both surfaces finely velvet-hairy, especially along veins, margins sawtoothed. Sem leaves are similar to the basal, reduced upward, smaller, 3-lobed stalkless on expanded sheaths. Flowers are borne in umbels 15-30 cm wide; bracts 1-5, linear or absent; rays numerous, 15-60 (or more), 6-9 cm, unequal, extending in fruit; bracteoles 5-8, linear, unequal, 5-9 mm, persistent; umbellule 8-30-flowered. Calyx teeth subulate. Petals are white, occasionally pinkish, outer flowers in umbel prominently radiant; radiant petals 2-lobed, to 3 × 2.3 mm. Young ovary is densely hairy. Fruit is obovoid, 9-11 x 7-10 mm; dorsal ribs thread-like, lateral ribs broadly winged, wings 2.2-4 mm wide; vittae thread-like, solitary in dorsal furrows, extending to 2/3 length of mericarp, 1-2 in lateral furrows, shorter than dorsal, 2-4 on commissure, about 2/3 as long as mericarp. Seed face plane. Nepal Hogweed is found in forests, scrub, grassy slopes, roadsides in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 2000-4000 m, in Bhutan, NE India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim. Flowering: June-August.

Identification credit: Nimesh Chamling Photographed in Maniping Reserve Forest, West Sikkim.

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