Oval Leaf Pondweed
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Oval Leaf Pondweed
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Oval Leaf Pondweed, Oval Leaf Monochoria, Marshy betelvine, Duck Salad • Assamese: ভাতমেটেকা Bhat Meteka, জোনাকী ফুল Jonaki Phul • Bengali: ছোটনখা Chotnakha, নুখা Nukha, পানি কচু Panee Kachu • Hindi: ननका Nanka, पानपत्ता Paanpatta • Kannada: ನೀಲೋತ್ಪಲ Neelotpala • Kokborok: Chichiri • Konkani: नीलोत्पल Nilotpala • Malayalam: കാക്കപ്പോള Kaakkappola, കരിങ്കൂവളം Karinkuvalam, കുളച്ചേമ്പ് Kulachempu, കുവലയം Kuvalayam • Manipuri: ꯀꯛꯂꯥꯏ Kaklai, ꯎꯔꯦꯟꯂꯥꯕꯥ Uren Laba • Marathi: नीलोत्पल Nilotpala • Nepali: कर्कले झार Karkale Jhaar, निलो जलुके Nilo Jaluke • Odia: ମିରମୀରା Mirmira • Sanskrit: इन्दीवर Indivara • Tamil: கருங்குவளை Karu-N-Kuvalai • Telugu: నీరు కాచ Neerukaacha, నీరుకాంచ Nirokancha • Tulu: ನೀರ್ ಚೇವು Neerchevu • Urdu: ننکا Nanka Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Pontederia vaginalis    Family: Pontederiaceae (Pickerel weed family)
Synonyms: Monochoria vaginalis, Pontederia cordata Lour., Pontederia pauciflora

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.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed at Rajamalai National park, Kerala & Maharashtra.

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