Q. I would like help identifying a plant I have seen for the first time in northern Tunisia (North Africa).
This plant looks like the black top of a reed, but no stem and no leaves. It shoots straight out of the sand of the dune, a few meters from the Mediterranean sea.
While we do answer plant questions, we are not familiar with North African plant species. However, I did send your query to colleagues in Europe who sent some helpful suggestions:
One colleague suggests Cynomorium coccineum. "The habitat (dunes by the Med.) is a pretty good clue. It’s parasitic so has no leaves."
Another colleague suggests that you search the online photo guide www.africanplants.senckenberg.de
a photo database with identification tool (under Browse & Search).
Photo Guide to Plants of Southern Morocco (lacking the determination
Hope these resources help you identify your plant.
- The questioner confirmed that the plant was, indeed, Cynomorium coccineum.