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…
I compared your old sp and … here has some superficial similar points but no really… but drying may have something to do with it…
I dont know about fungi in Botany but in medicine
diagnosis of fungi are kind of straight forward …
we do histology and PAS stain with and without diastase at the first step…
generally that answers the id question
and then ultimately a DNA fingerprint??? using cutters known to id your specimen’s DNA
Ritesh ….did you get a herbarium sp for your lab?
then its kinda easy to do histology even on dry sp I guess… or rehydrate it..

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.




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