Purple Mayflower
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Purple Mayflower
ative Photo: Tabish
Common name: Purple Mayflower
Botanical name: Maianthemum purpureum    Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)
Synonyms: Smilacina purpurea, Smilacina pallida, Smilacina purpurea var. albiflora

Purple Mayflower is a leafy erect plant, with alternately arranged, large elliptic leaves in two ranks. White or purple flowers arise in a narrow spike-like cluster, often pendulous, at the end of the stem. Petals are oblong or elliptic, 4-6 mm long. Stamens are shorter than the petals. Inflorescence sometime has one or two branches below. Leaves are 3-9, usually 5-12 cm long, with fringe hairs on the margin. Leaves are stem-clasping. Stem is often hairy, unbranched, 20-40 cm tall. Young plants are used as boiled vegetable. Purple Mayflower is found in the forest of the Himalayas, from Himachal Pradesh to SW China, at altitudes of 2400-4200 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Nongthombam Ullysess
Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.
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