Lycopodium Prickly Thrift
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Lycopodium Prickly Thrift
P Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Lycopodium Prickly Thrift • Ladakhi: ལོང་ཟེ་ Longze
Botanical name: Acantholimon lycopodioides    Family: Plumbaginaceae (Plumbago family)
Synonyms: Statice lycopodioides, Acantholimon tibeticum, Armeriastrum lycopodiodes

Lycopodium Prickly Thrift is a densely clustered shrub; branches short, densely leafy, forming cushion-like clusters. Flowers are pink to pinkish. Calyx is broadly funnel-shaped; tube densely hispid, limb broad, white, 5-lobed to subtruncate; nerves stopping near the margin of the limb. Spikelets are 3-6, arranged in densely distichous terminal spike. Spikelets are 2-3-flowered, 4-5-bracteate. Outer bract oblong-lanceshaped, long-pointed, reddish; first and second inner bracts oblong, longer than the outer bract; other bracts small, almost hyaline. Leaves are plano-lanceshaped, minutely rough-margined. Flowering stems are simple, shorter than the leaves. Lycopodium Prickly Thrift is found in West Pakistan, Afghanistan and Soviet Central Asia, Pamir Alai, W. and S. Pamir, and Ladakh, at altitudes of 2500-3000 m. Flowering: July-September.
Medicinal uses: Plant ash with milk is believed to be useful in cardiac disorders. The dried plant is considered an excellent fuel.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Phyang, Ladakh.

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