Balanophora laxiflora Hemsl., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 26: 410 1894. (Syn: Acroblastum parvius (Hayata) Setch. & Yamam.; Acroblastum spicatum (Hayata) Setch.; Balania formosana (Hayata) Masam.; Balania parvior (Hayata) Masam.; Balania spicata (Hayata) Masam.; Balanophora formosana Hayata; Balanophora hexamera (Tiegh.) Lecomte; Balanophora hongkongensis K.M.Lau, N.H.Li & S.Y.Hu; Balanophora hongkongensis K.M. Lau et al.; Balanophora morrisonicola Hayata; Balanophora oshimae Yamam.; Balanophora parvior Hayata; Balanophora rugosa P.C.Tam; Balanophora spicata Hayata; Polyplethia formosana (Hayata) Nakai (Unresolved); Polyplethia minor Nakai (Unresolved); Polyplethia oshimae (Yamam.) Yamam. (Unresolved); Polyplethia parvior (Hayata) Yamam. (Unresolved); Polyplethia spicata (Hayata) Nakai);
Fl. Arunachal_Balanophora involucrata_RKC03_27102012: Balanophora involucrata Hook. f. & Thomson
Loc.: Tuting, Upper Siang distt, Arunachal Pradesh
Date: October, 2005
I have some doubt on this because Balanophora involucrata that we had collected in around 1970 or so from J & K looked exactly like a red mushroom with cap and stipe and in fact we thought it to be some fungus till we discovered flowers. I had published it in Science Reporter as Singh, Gurcharan. 1972. A Flowering mushroom? Science Reporter. 9(5): 236-237. Here are some links from the net:
I am also attaching photograph of my dried specimen
Thanks for raising this question. My identity was based on the herbarium specimens kept in ASSAM. I may be wrong. Would like to know the correct identity.
more questions then answers, in my mind about this…
Yes I had collected the specimens too which are safely kept in the herbarium of BSI.
The fact it is not B. involucrata is clear from the leaves, which are in more than one series in this specimen, and appear imbricated at the base of inflorescence. In Balanophora involcrata the leaves are in a single whorl forming a sheath at the middle of stipe, and the inflorescence also comes out of a sheath.
To me this plant appears to be Balanophora laxiflora
Thanks for the comments! Sharing a very useful link on Balanophora, a/c to which my plant matches closely with B. laxiflora. Two color forms have been reported here.
Another paper (pdf attached) provides key to the Balanophora in NE India but does not report the occurrence of B. laxiflora in India. Could it be a new record?
Your upload has been a learning experience for me also. I knew Balanophora involucrata from a specimen which as I understand now was a female plant. I had never seen a male specimen, which I learnt now from seeing photographs from the net.
I am happy also that my doubts on your ID were genuine, based on leaves.
As we understand now your specimen is a male plant with very distinctive inflorescence axis with flowers in straight parallel rows. The closest match is B. laxiflora, but if you have some specimens with open flowers (your seems to be a young male infl. reminding more of an Equisetum) you could also check for B. harlandii, especially when B. laxiflora is not reported in India.
My specimens are kept in the herbarium of BSI and in my photographs open flowers are not visible. After going through the photographs provided in the same link, B. laxiflora appears to be the closest match. I checked the B. herlandii photographs too, but they look different.
Hoping to hear more form you.