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Common Name : Pipewarts     -       Scientific Name : Eriocaulon quinquangulare (Eriocaulaceae)       -       Other Name : Kok Mota (S)
Mahapatessa
06/22/2013
Mahapatessa
06/22/2013

Other than in Sri Lanka this species can be found in suitable habitat in India, Bangladesh and Burma as well. Approximately 400 species of Pipeworts have been recognized in the world. These are widely distributed in the tropical regions of southern Asia and southern America. The scientific name of this species is derived from two Ancient Greek words ‘erion’ meaning wool and ‘caulos’ meaning stalk.

In Sri Lanka this species is common in all the low land districts including Jaffna, Hambantota, Pollonaruwa, Anuradapura, Colombo, Kegalle and Kandy.  In damp conditions this species will flower throughout the year. It is distinctive due to some specimens being reddish in colour. This species varies in size considerably with some specimens being much smaller and more slender than the others. The capitula are usually greyish-white but can be pure white as well.

The Department of National Botanical Gardens has recorded three species of Pipeworts (Kok Mota) at Wilpattu National Park. At Mahapatessa, Kudapatessa and Kumutu Wila the carpets of tiny white buds at the ends of slender green stems that you see, after the rainy season, belong to the above species, which is the commonest of the Pipeworts at Wilpattu. In addition to the above species, Eriocaulon truncatum has been recorded from Manikrala Uraniya and the Eriocaulon cinereum from the Kokkare Wila area. All these species look very similar in the field with subtle differences.