Ravan's Moustache   
Foto info
Ravan's Moustache
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Ravan's Moustache, Littoral Spinegrass • Kannada: raavanana meese, elimullu • Malayalam: ily-mullu • Tamil: ravana-meesai, iravanabul, iravananpul • Telugu: ravanasurini, meesalu, gutti romala gaddi
Botanical name: Spinifex littoreus    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)

Ravan's Moustache is a perennial grass with stolon-forming stems, hard, stout, many-noded, rooting and copiously branching at nodes. Flowering shoots ascend u[ to 1-3 ft. Leaves are very tough, inrolled, curved, 5-20 × 0.2-0.3 cm, margins rough, tip spiny.Ligule is densely ciliate. Male flowers are borne in 2-5 clustered round heads 5-10 × 6-8 cm. Racemes are 3-6 cm, bearing 5-10 loosely imbricate spikelets. Female inflorescences is round. 20-35 cm in diameter. Racemes are covered with needle-like 10-18 cm rachis. Female spikelets are lanceolate-oblong, 1-2 cm, pointed. Glumes are oblong-lanceolate, lower glume many-veined, upper glume 7-9-veined. This species is an efficient sand binder, forming large colonies and stabilizing dunes. The female inflorescences act as tumbleweeds. The seeds within are dispersed as the spiky head is transported along the coast by wind and sea.

Identification credit: Tanay Bose, Adittya Dharap, Mahadeswara Swamy
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