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P Native Photo: Tara Chand Saini
Common name: Phog • Hindi: फोग Phog, Phok
Botanical name: Calligonum polygonoides    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Synonyms: Calligonum comosum, Calligonum intertextum, Pallasia comosa

Phog is a profusely branched, hairless shrub with whitish to pale brownish bark, up to 1.5 m tall. Leaves are very scanty, stalkless, linear, falling off, 7-15 mm long; ochreae about 1 mm long. Flowers are stalked, stalk 3-8 mm long, slightly accrescent in fruit, jointed in the center or near the base. Tepals are 3-4 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, broadly oblong, white, reflexed in fruit. Stamens are shorter than or equalling tepals. Fruit is 1.2-1.7 cm long, 1.0-1.4 cm broad, densely bristly, setae 2-3 times or more dichotomously branched, dilated at the base, arising on 4 pairs of longitudinal wings. Nut oblong, slightly coiled, winged, wings 1-2 mm broad. Phog is a A fairly common plant of sand dunes of Thar desert. The wood is chiefly used as fuel. It is good sand-binder, and fodder of camel. The flowers are also eaten in Sindh. It is found in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Palestine, Syria, and NW India. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Tara Chand Saini Photographed in Rajasthan.

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