Clustered Rhodiola
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Clustered Rhodiola
ative Photo: Urmi Mukherjee
Common name: Clustered Rhodiola
Botanical name: Rhodiola fastigiata    Family: Crassulaceae (Sedum family)
Synonyms: Sedum fastigiatum, Sedum quadrifidum var. fastigiatum, Rhodiola coccinea

Clustered Rhodiola is a perennial herb, found on rocks, cervices and grassy slopes of the Himalayas, from Pakistan to China, at altitudes of 3600-5500 m. Flowering stems are many on each rhizome, all unbranched, erect, growing close and parallel to each other. The species name fastigiata means clustered and parallel. Old flowering stems are persistent, 6-17 cm long, 0.8-2 mm wide. Stem leaves are alternate, stalkless, entire, pointed or blunt, linear-ovate or narrowly ovate, 6-12 mm longm 1-1.5 mm wide. Flowers arise on top of the stems, in compact corymblike cymes, 6-15 flowered. Bracts are like the stem leaves. Flowers are yellow or red, 4-5 parted, stalk 1-4 mm long. Sepals basally fused, entire, blunt, triangular-ovate or narrowly ovate, 2.5-3.5 x 0.5-1.5 mm. Petals are entire, blunt, narrowly elliptic, narrowly obovate, linear-oblanceolate, 3.5-6 x 1-1.8 mm. Flowering: June-August.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed near Tarsar, Kashmir, Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh & Tawang distt, Arunachal Pradesh.

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