Strawberry Fields Gomphrena
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Strawberry Fields Gomphrena
P Introduced Photo: Krishna Pratap Singh
Common name: Strawberry Fields Gomphrena
Botanical name: Gomphrena haageana    Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Gomphrena coccinea, Gomphrena tuberifera

Strawberry Fields Gomphrena is a popular cultivar of Gomphrena haageana which is closely related to Gomphrena. It sports red flower-heads which reminds one of strawberries. It is a perennial herb with a tuberous root, erect, about 20-70 cm, simple to much-branched; stem and branches subround, striped, moderately or thinly appressed-hairy. Leaves are narrowly inverted-lanceshaped to linear-oblong, 3-8 x 0.3-1 cm, pointed to rather blunt with a small point at the tip, long-narrowed at the base, rather thinly appressed-hairy on both surfaces, the pair of leaves subtending the at branch-ends inflorescence stalkless, lanceshaped-ovate, long-tapering. Flower-heads are stalkless above the uppermost pair of leaves, spherical, 2-2.5 cm in diameter, sometime finally shortly cylindrical and up to about 6 cm long; bracts about 6 cm, narrowly deltoid-ovate, somewhat plicate, mucronate with the shortly excurrent midrib, bracteoles strongly compressed, boat-shaped, about 10-15 mm, mucronate, with an almost complete crest like that of Gomphrena globosa but generally even wider and more deeply toothed.

Identification credit: Krishna Pratap Singh Photographed in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

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