Asian Watergrass
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Asian Watergrass
P Native Photo: Ankush Dave
Common name: Asian Watergrass • Assamese: ফুটকী Phutki • Bengali: উরিধান Uridhan • Hindi: जंगली दाल Jangli dal, तिल्ली Tilli, Tini • Kannada: juarahumedhe, jyarahu medhe, kaadu bili sajjabu hullu • Malayalam: nir-valli-pulli, nirvallippulu • Marathi: Devbhaatha, Devbhata • Nepali: नवो धान Navo dhan • Sanskrit: aranyadhanya, aranyajali, munidhanya • Tamil: Vallippul • Telugu: Erra changala gaddi
Botanical name: Hygroryza aristata    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Zizania aristata, Pharus aristatus, Leersia aristata

Asian Watergrass is a floating grass forming pure mats on the surface of the water. Stems are 30 cm or more long, spongy, with whorled feathery roots at the nodes. Leaf-blades are flat, ovate-oblong, blunt, 2.5-7.5 cm long, 1.2-2 cm wide, scaberulous above, smooth and glaucous beneath, rounded or subheart-shaped at the base. Panicles are triangular, 3-6 cm long and wide, the lower branches spreading or sometimes deflexed. Spikelets are stalkless or very shortly stalked with a long flower-stalk-like callus articulated with the panicle-branch or flower-stalk and falling with the spikelet; body of lemma up to 10 mm long, passing into the 10-12 mm long, scaberulous awn. Cattle are fond of it and people have been known to eat the grain. Asian Watergrass is found in the Indian Subcontinent to S. China and Indo-China, Taiwan.

Identification credit: Pramesh Dani Photographed in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.

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