Leaf-Litter Plant
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Leaf-Litter Plant
ative Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Leaf-Litter Plant • Tamil: Mancharei
Botanical name: Agrostistachys indica    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Agrostistachys longifolia, Agrostistachys maesoana

Leaf-Litter Plant is a stout shrubs or a small tree, up to 5 m tall. Its common name comes from the fact that leaf litter that falls from nearby trees often collects at the base of the plant, at the point where the leaves meet the stem. Leaves are up to 21 x 9 cm, elliptic-oblong, pointed, leathery, base narrowed, spiny sawtoothed; nerves 13 pairs, regular, prominent. Leaf-stalk is 1 cm long. Male flowers are borne in short racemes in leaf-axils. Bracts are broadly ovate, densely woolly; sepals white, 4 x 2.5 mm, obovate, blunt; petals smaller than sepals, white; stamens 12, filaments united at base. Female flowers solitary or 2-3 together, in leaf-axils; bracts many, 3 x 3 mm, imbricating, fringed with hairs; flower-stalk 7 mm long, stout; sepals oblong, densely hairy. Capsule is 1.5 cm across, seeds spherical, hairless. Leaf-Litter Plant is found in Central and Peninsular India. Flowering: February-March.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka.

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