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| Last Updated:23/03/2021

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Snake-like flower Khamasom Van blooms in glory

 Source: The Sangai Express / Mungchan Zimik

Ukhrul, May 20 2018: A rare flower resembling a snake-Khamasom Van, meaning Khamasom Village flower, was found blooming in the steep dense forest of Mathashama, Khamasom village, Ukhrul. The sighting of the snake like flower blooming on the high altitude Mathashama forest is rare. A group of "Khamatek trekkers" from Ukhrul including this correspondent trudged the rugged and difficult terrain to sight the flower with the objective of sensitising the villager son the need to preserve nature. The region being a thick rainforest, one has to follow the path taken by hunters along the rugged terrain to witness the rare flower that blooms from early May to first week of June. Khamasom Van plants are 1 to 3 feet tall bearing dark purple flowers and grow from tuber. Full bloom flower resembles an open mouthed snake with two large eyes. Khamasom Van has a slender stem, bears three broad leaves which give shades to the flowers.  While the petals of the flowers are a shaped like a snake-head, the long stigma looks like a snake-tongue coming out of its mouth. The flower thrives well in swampy terrains under thick trees canopy. Despite its unique features and rarity, Khamasom Van is yet to be included in the botanical families. Felling of trees for timbers has threatened and endangered the existence of the flower in the region. The Mathashama forest is home to many wild species of orchid, medical plants, ahd varieties of monkeys, wild sheep, deers, bears, antelopes and trees like Phoebes.