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Also known as ‘black stone flower‘, kalpasi is a species of edible lichen that grows on trees and rocks and is used as a spice in Indian cuisines.
Lichens represent a unique group of plants that consists of two unrelated organisms i.e. a fungus and an alga, growing together in a close symbiotic association.
It should not to be confused with another ‘stone flower‘ – Didymocarpus pedicellatus – which is a real flower found in the Himalayas and used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat urinary tract infection.