Marsh Barbel   
Foto info
Marsh Barbel
Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Marsh Barbel • Hindi: Gokula kanta • Marathi: तालीम ख़ाना Talim Khana • Tamil: Nirumuli • Malayalam: Voyal-chullai • Telugu: Kokilakshi • Kannada: Kalavankabija • Bengali: Shulamardan • Konkani: Kalaso • Sanskrit: कोकिलाक्ष Kokilaksha, Shrinkhali
Botanical name: Hygrophila schulli    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Hygrophila auriculata

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.
Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra.
Identification credit: Pravin Kawale • Is this flower misidentified? If yes,