FoI
Oval Leaf Pondweed   
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Oval Leaf Pondweed
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Oval Leaf Pondweed, Oval Leaf Monochoria, Marshy betelvine • Hindi: ननका Nanka, इंदीवर Indivar • Marathi: Nelat-phal • Tamil: Karimkuvalam • Malayalam: Karinkuvvalam • Telugu: Nirakancha • Kannada: Neelothpala • Bengali: nukha • Assamese: nara meteka • Sanskrit: इंदीवरः Indivarah
Botanical name: Monochoria vaginalis    Family: Pontederiaceae (Pickerel weed family)

Oval Leaf Pondweed is an attached aquatic annual or perennial herb with emersed leaves, to 50 cm tall. More widespread than M. hastata, it is a serious weed of rice fields. Leaves variable - 2-12.5 cm long, 0.5-10 cm wide, in very young plants without lamina; leaves of somewhat older plants with a floating linear or lanceolate blade; leaves of still older plants, ovate-oblong to broadly ovate, sharply acuminate, the base heart-shaped or rounded, shiny, deep green in color. Inflorescence spikelike, basally opposite the sheath of the floral leaf, with a large bract arising from a thickened bundle on leaf stalk, about two-thirds of the way up the stalk from the base. Flowers 3-25, opening simultaneously or in quick succession, on pedicels 4-25 mm long. Petals six, violet or lilac blue, spreading at flowering, afterwards spirally contorted. As is typical of many aquatic annuals, plant size, leaf shape, and flower number are highly variable in relation to the amount of water. The entire plant (except the roots) is eaten as a vegetable in India, and the roots are used medicinally. Flowering: August-March.
Medicinal uses: Oval Leaf Pondweed is used in Ayurvedic, Unani and folklore medicine. The root is used for toothache and the bark is eaten with sugar for asthma.

Photographed at Rajamalai National park, Kerala & Maharashtra.
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