Botanical name: Dorstenia foetida Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)
Grendelion is a small, caudex forming perennial herb, which can grow up to 1 foot in height. It is a very variable species especially in shape and size of leaves, length of leaf-stalks and stipules. Leaves are evergreen or falling off, at stem tips, light green to grayish-green narrowly lanceshaped to broadly elliptical (sometime nearly round or linear), 1-15 cm long, 0.5-4.5 cm wide, tip pointed to shortly tapering, or blunt to rounded. Base narrowed to wedge-shaped or rounded. Margin is rather crinkly, wavy and rounded toothed to nearly entire or toothed. Lateral veins are 3-15 pairs. Leaf-stalks are 0.1-6 cm long, and relatively broad. The plant produces grayish or green (or orange/pinkish), solitary, stalked flower-like structures that are actually fruiting bodies called hypanthodiums. This inflorescence is a weird, horned, tentacle-like disc-shaped structure that has given these plants the common name "Shield Flower." The "Shield" actually consists of a multitude of miniscule flowers. The seed pods open explosively when ripe and send the seed flying a considerable distance (up to 2 meters) - similar to some Euphorbias. Grendelion is native to Eastern Africa and Arabia.
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