Spongy Balanophora
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Spongy Balanophora
ative Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Spongy Balanophora
Botanical name: Balanophora fungosa    Family: Balanophoraceae (Balanophora family)
Synonyms: Balanophora forsteri, Balanophora mariannae

Spongy Balanophora is a small apparently leafless plant, a root-parasite and resembles a fungus with a large rounded head. The female flowers form an densely packed cone with the male flowers clustered below them. The plant is usually found amongst litter on the forest floor. Leaves are 15-30, spirally arranged or rarely opposite, imbricate, broadly ovate, 1-1.5 x 1.5-1.7 cm, tip blunt. Spongy Balanophora is found in coastal forests, from sea level up to 900 m in South India, Indonesia, Japan, New Guinea, Philippines, Australia, Pacific Islands. Flowering: December.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Sakleshpur, Karnataka.

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