FoI
Marsh Barbel   
Foto info
Marsh Barbel
P Native
Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Marsh Barbel • Bengali: স্হুলমর্দন shulamardan • Gujarati: એખરો ekharo, કાંટા શેરિયો kanta sheriyo, તાલીમખાના talimkhana • Hindi: भानकरी bhankari, गोक्षुर gokshur, कोकिल आंख kokil-ankh, क्षुर kshura, ताल मखाना tal makhana, त्रिकट trikat, त्रिवर्णक trivarnak • Kannada: ಗೋಕಣ್ಟಕ gokantaka, ಗೋಕ್ಷುರ gokshura • Konkani: कोळसुंदो kolsundo • Malayalam: bahel-schulli • Marathi: एखरा ekhara, गोक्षुर gokshura, कोळिस्ता kolista, कोळसुंदा kolsunda, सरांटा saranta, तालीमखाना talimkhana • Oriya: koilakha • Sanskrit: अतिछत्त्रक ati-chattraka, भद्रकण्ट bhadra-kanta, भिक्षु bhiksu, छत्त्र chattra, चित्रकण्टक citra-kantaka, धनस्यक dhanasyaka, गर्जाफल garja-phala, कोकिलाक्षः kokilaksah, क्षुर ksura • Tamil: நீர்முள்ளி nir-mulli • Telugu: ఏనుగు పల్లేరు enugu palleru, కోకిలాక్షి kokilaksi, వనశృంగాటము vana-sringatamu
Botanical name: Hygrophila auriculata    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Hygrophila schulli, Hygrophila spinosa, Barleria hexacantha

Marsh Barbel is a stout aquatic perennial herb, 1-2 m high. Erect unbranched stems are hairy near swollen nodes. Densely hairy, lance-like, stalkless leaves, 10-15 cm long, occur in whorls of 6 at each node on the stem. Straight, yellow, 4 cm long spines are present in the axil of each leaf. Flowers occur in 4 pairs at each node. The 3 cm long purple-blue flowers are 2-lipped - the upper lip is 2-lobed and the lower one 3-lobed with lengthwise folds. Flowers open in opposite pairs. Flowering: October-April.
Medicinal uses: Kokilaksha, as it is known in sanskrit, was extensively used in Ayurvedic system of medicine for various ailments like rheumatism, inflammation, jaundice, hepatic obstruction, pain, etc.

Identification credit: Pravin Kawale Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra.

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