3. Balanophora dioica R. Brown ex Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts. 1: 330. 1839.
鹿仙草 lu xian cao
Plants dioecious. Rhizome ochre yellow, brown, or reddish purple, unbranched or several together in a mass, surface with granular warts or scattered yellow stellate lenticels; branches subglobose, 0.5-2.5 cm in diam. Scapes purple to pink, cylindric, 2-10 cm. Leaves 3-10, distichous, rarely spirally arranged, imbricate, broadly ovate to ovate-oblong, 1.5-4 × 1.5-2.5 cm, apex obtuse to emarginate. Male inflorescences broadly ovoid to ellipsoid, 3-3.5 × 2.5-3 cm. Male flowers: very numerous, actinomorphic, each subtended by a single truncate bract. Pedicel 4-9 mm. Perianth lobes 4 or 5, ovate, ca. 2 mm, reflexed. Synandria hemispheroidal, 0.5-1 × 1-1.5 mm; anthers 4 or 5, 2-celled, U-shaped, longitudinally dehiscent. Female inflorescences ellipsoid to narrowly ovoid, 2-5 cm. Spadicles ca. 1 mm, subclavate, apical 1/3 subglobose, apex truncate and papillate; cuticular ridges of apical cells longitudinally slender and congested. Female flowers: on basal stipe of spadicles and main axis of inflorescence. Fl. Aug-Oct.
Dense forests; 1100-2600 m. Hunan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, NE India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim].
One of us (Murata) considers it doubtful that this Himalayan species actually occurs in China. Chinese specimens under this name are possibly misidentified.
This species is used medicinally.