White Himalayan Hogweed
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White Himalayan Hogweed
P Native Photo: Tabish
Common name: White Himalayan Hogweed • Himachali: Radara, Padara, Tunak, Gojihwa, Tukar, Rasal • Kashmiri: Hirakali, Gurkrandal, Patrali, Hirwi, Ramthianthen • Nepali: Tukar, Sukar, Chhetaro • Urdu: Folla
Botanical name: Heracleum candicans    Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Synonyms: Heracleum cinereum, Heracleum hypoleucum

White Himalayan Hogweed is a plant 0.4-1 m tall, velvet-hairy or woolly. Stem is solitary, branched. Basal and lower leaves are pinnate; pinnae 2-3 pairs, ovate-oblong, 5-7 x 3-5 cm, pinnately divided, below silvery, densely white woolly, margins sawtoothed, tip with a short sharp point or blunt. Upper leaves are reduced, stalkless, 3-lobed on expanded sheaths. Flower-cluster-stalks are 15-30 cm, velvet-hairy; bracts 1-3, linear, falling off; rays 15-25, unequal, 3-7 cm, velvet-hairy; bracteoles 5-8, linear; umbellules 20-25-flowered. Sepal-cup teeth are minute. Petals are white, outer flowers of umbels radiant. Fruit is obovoid, 5-8 x 4-6 mm, hairless when mature; vittae solitary in each furrow, 2 on commissure, club-shaped, extending to 2/3 length of mericarp. White Himalayan Hogweed is found in N. Pakistan to Himalaya and China, at altitudes of 1800-4500 m. Flowering: May-July.
Medicinal uses: The natives use its root paste for skin disease, eczema and itches and relieving from joint pain. ‘Amchis’ (traditional herbal doctors) of Ladakh region use its roots for liver complaints, arthritis and toothache. ‘Amchis’ of Nepal use this plant in curing phlegm, earache, stomach disorders, infection, bleeding, leprosy, fever due to wounds and blood pressure. The roots contain coumarin. The plant powder is given in giddiness in ‘Malanis’ peoples of Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh. Seeds are orally given in abdominal, colic, other digestive and flatulence complaints. Its fruits are used as spice or flavouring agent in cooking.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh.

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