Palm Star Grass
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Palm Star Grass
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Palm Star Grass, Palm Grass, Weevil lily • Mizo: Phaiphak
Botanical name: Molineria capitulata    Family: Hypoxidaceae (Star Grass family)
Synonyms: Curculigo capitulata, Curculigo glabra, Molineria hortensis

Palm Star Grass is a stout herb up to 1 m tall. Rhizomes are tuberous, thick, with creeping, slender stolons. Leaves are often 4-7, carried on stalks 30--80 cm long. Leaf-blade is oblong-lanceshaped to suboblong, 40-90 x 5-14 cm, pleated papery, sometimes velvety, margin entire, tip long-pointed. Flowering stems are short, only 15-30 cm, brown hairy. Flower-racemes are nodding, head-like to subovoid, 2.5-5 cm, densely many flowered; bracts ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, 1.5--2.5 cm, hairy. Flower-stalks are about 7 mm. Flowers are yellow with ovate-oblong petals about 8 x 3.5-4 mm, tip blunt. Outer petals are hairy above, inner ones hairy above on midvein or at base of midvein. Stamens are 5-6 mm, filament less than 1 mm; anther linear, about 5 mm. Ovary is subglobose to oblong, hairy. Style are longer than stamens, slender; stigma subcapitate. Berry is white, nearly round, 4-5 mm in diameter, beakless. Seeds are black with irregular stripes. Palm Star Grass is found in the Himalayas, from Nepal to Assam, Bengal, Burma, Ceylon, Malay and S. China, at altitudes of 1800-2000 m. Flowering: May-June.

Identification credit: Vijayasankar Raman Photographed in Sundar Nursery, Delhi.

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