West-Himalayan Rhubarb
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West-Himalayan Rhubarb
P Native Photo: Sunit Singh
Common name: West-Himalayan Rhubarb • Hindi: चुटियल Chutiyal, Raiwand • Kashmiri: Pumbcxalan ﭘﻤﺐ ﮊﺍﻟﻦ, Pumbhaakh ﭘﻤﺐ ﺣﺎﻛﮫ • Dard shina: Kharkocxal
Botanical name: Rheum moorcroftianum    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)

West-Himalayan Rhubarb is a dwarf, prostrate stemless herb, with 3-6 large basal leaves, forming a rosette. Flowers are borne in spike-like panicle, axis 2-5, nearly equal to leaf. Flower-stalks are about 2 mm, slender. Tepals are yellow-white or with some red, narrowly oblong or oblong-elliptic, inner 3 larger, about 2 mm. Anthers are purple-red. Leaf-stalks are finely striped, short, 3-6 cm, hairless. Leavesare dark purple below, green above, ovate or triangular ovate, 6-12 x 4-8.5 cm, below hairless, above hairless, basal veins 5, leathery, base rounded or slightly heart-shaped, margin entire, palmately divided to pinnate, tip bluntly pointed. Fruit is ovoid or broadly ovoid, 7-8 x 5-6 mm; wings narrow, 1-1.5 mm, with longitudinal veins at middle. West-Himalayan Rhubarb is found in the Himalaya, from Kumaun to Nepal and Tibet, at altitudes of 3600-4400 m. Flowering: June-July.
Medicinal uses: It is believed to have some medicinal properties, like some other Rheum species.

Identification credit: Sunit Singh, Ashok Meena Photographed in Nandi Kund, Madhmaheshwar, Uttarakhand.

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