South-Indian Seepweed
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South-Indian Seepweed
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: South-Indian Seepweed • Tamil: Umarinandi, Karuvumari • Telugu: Goilakuru, Goliguru-dubbu, Goyyalakura
Botanical name: Suaeda monoica    Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Lerchia monoica, Salsola monoica, Schoberia monoica

South-Indian Seepweed is shrub 1.2-5 m high, trunk often 5 cm or more thick. Leaves are linear to linear-oblong, flattened on both sides, 13-33 x 1.5-3 mm, tip pointed or blunt, dull to bright green, usually not glaucous, progressively shorter on flowering shoots. Flowers are unisexual, usually quite numerous, sometimes contiguous into dense spikes. Male flowers developing first, nearly spherical, about 3 mm in diameter, deeply divided; anthers filling perianth; ovary reduced to peltate-topped column with rudimentary stigmas. Female flowers are much smaller, undivided, tightly enclosing ovary to give appearance of naked flower, staminode-like appendages minute or absent, stigmas 3, linear. Utricle tightly enclosed within membranous perianth, laterally compressed. Seed vertical, 1.5-1.8 x 1-1.3 mm, glossy black. South-Indian Seepweed is found in South India, Africa, Arabian Peninsula.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, Kodiakkarai, Tamil Nadu.

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