Fern-Leaf Swampweed
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Fern-Leaf Swampweed
P Native Unknown Photo: Varun Shedge
Common name: Fern-Leaf Swampweed, Miramar Weed, Indian Swampweed
Botanical name: Hygrophila pinnatifida    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Cardanthera pinnatifida, Nomaphila pinnatifida, Adenosma pinnatifida

Fern-Leaf Swampweed is an aquatic plant currently becoming popular as an aquarium plant. Its leaves of the emersed as well as the submersed form are pinnately lobed to pinnately cut, and are thus highly decorative. Furthermore, the submersed leaves have their upper side brown to olive green with a light yellowish pattern where the lateral leaf veins fork off the midrib, their underside is of a Burgundy red. When cultivated submersed, the plant develops upright shoots as well as runner-like creeping ones, which can attach to rocks or driftwood with their roots. At the end of these multiply ramified shoots, upright sprouts develop. They can remain rather short for a longer period of time, looking like a rosette then. The stems are of a brown colour and rather tough. Flowers are blue, borne in leaf axils. Fern-Leaf Swampweed is native to the Indian subcontinent, Indochina and Malaysia.

Identification credit: Jatin Vaity Photographed in Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra.

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