Rice Paddy Herb
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Rice Paddy Herb
P Native Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Rice Paddy Herb, Finger grass
Botanical name: Limnophila aromatica    Family: Plantaginaceae (Isabgol family)
Synonyms: Limnophila gratissima, Limnophila chinensis subsp. aromatica

Rice Paddy Herb is an annual or perennial herb with stems 1-2 ft, simple to much branched, hairless or glandular, base prostrate and rooting from nodes. Flowers are white, blue-purple, or pink, 1-1.3 cm, sparsely and finely glandular, inside white hairy. Sepal-cup is 4-6 mm, hairless or glandular velvet-hairy, with raised veins in fruit. Style tip dilated; stigma short, 2-lamellate. Flowers arise singly in leaf axils or in racemes at branch-ends or in leaf-axils. Flower-stalks are 0.5-2 cm, hairless or glandular. Bracteoles are linear to linear-lanceshaped, 1.5-2 mm. Leaves are opposite or in whorls of 3, stalkless, ovate-lanceshaped to lanceshaped-elliptic, 1-5 x 0.3-1.5 cm, base semi-stem-clasping, margin rounded toothed and sawtoothed; veins pinnate. Capsules are ovoid, about 6 mm. Rice paddy herb is one of the many culinary herbs used only or pre­dominantly in Viet­namese cuisine.The flavour of rice paddy herb goes well with mild Vietnamese curries, like chicken curry. Around reservoirs and other moist places. Rice Paddy Herb is found at low elevations in NE India, Bhutan, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, SE Asia and Australia. Flowering: March-December.

Identification credit: Dipankar Borah, Saroj Kasaju Photographed in Satajaan Bird Sanctuary, Assam & Imphal, Manipur.

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