Common name: Ravan’s moustache. Tamil Name: Iravanan-pul.
This perennial plant is commonly seen in sand dunes near beaches. The plant can be spotted in coastal beach areas in Tamilnadu, Goa and Konkan. These plants aggregate into large clumps on beach sand dunes. They continuously colonize new areas by deploying their horizontally branching stems which root frequently at nodes (stoloniferous). The female and male plants are separate (dioecious). The leaves are basally aggregated, the leaf blade is linear and needle like. The leaf color is light green with a silvery hue. The female inflorescence can be spotted with their characteristic globose shape. After fertilization the female flower head separates from the parent plant and become buoyant. The sea wind helps dispersal of the seeds- enabling these plants to colonize other sand dunes. This plant plays an important role in soil conservation in beach ecosystems.