Packing Leaf
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Packing Leaf
P Native Photo: Angela Pangkam
Common name: Packing Leaf • Adi: Ekkam • Angami: Thekrengu • Assamese: কোউ Kou, কোউপাত Koupat • Garo: Bolgota • Khasi: Sla Met • Tangkhul: Nalshilna
Botanical name: Phrynium pubinerve    Family: Marantaceae (Arrowroot family)
Synonyms: Phrynium capitatum, Phrynium ovatum, Phrynium philippinense

Packing Leaf is a herb with creeping root stock. Leaves are elliptic-oblong, tapering, base rounded or blunt, up to 30 x 18 cm, leaf-stalk up to 60 cm long. Packing Leaf is used, since time immemorial, for packing and wrapping of food stuff, in many parts of NE India, in particular Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. Flowers are borne in spherical, stalkless spikes, 4-6 cm across. Inner bracts are ovate-oblong, fringed at tip. Flower are yellow. Outer petal-like staminodes are orange-red. Lip has a drooping appendage. Ovary is woolly. Packing Leaf is found in wet shaded places in dense forests, at altitudes of 100-1400 m, in China, NE India, South India and SE Asia.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in East Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh.

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