Nepal Purslane
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Nepal Purslane
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Nepal Purslane
Botanical name: Koenigia nepalensis    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Synonyms: Polygonum filicaule, Persicaria minuta

Nepal Purslane is an annual, prostrate or spreading 10-30 cm branched herb. Stem is flaccid, bearing sparse, yellowish, deflexed, appressed hairs. Leaves are ovate to lanceshaped, distant, 4-10 x 3-5 mm, pointed, entire, rounded at the base, with horizontal hairs on both the surfaces. Ochrea is thick, cup-shaped, membranous, sometimes 2-3-partite, hairy, 2-3 mm long. Flowers are borne in flat topped corymbs at branch ends, with 5-6 flowers in each corymb. Flower-stalks are 1-1.5 mm long, jointed. Flower tube is 5-partite, divided, almost up to the base, white or pink, outer 2 smaller, obovate-ovate, sometimes spathulate, usually obtuse, 1.75-2 x 1-1.5 mm. Stamens are 3, filaments very short, staminodes 5, alternating and larger than the stamens. Styles are 3, short, free, stigma rounded. Nepal Purslane is a plant of higher altitudes, grows in moist places and under rocks with mosses between 3000-5000 m. Usually it is overlooked by the collectors. It is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan, Kashmir to Bhutan, Xizang and China. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh.

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