2020, VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2Pages: 268-276
Taxonomic revision and new locational report of Limnophila indica (L.) Druce: A species becoming rare by the invasion of aquatic macrophytes
Muktipada Panda*, Mahendra Kumar Satapathy and Rabindro Nath Samal
*Department of Botany, Regional Institute of Education (RIE, NCERT), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India; Department of Botany, Banki College (Auto.), Cuttack, Odisha, India
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The Indian marshweed, “Limnophila indica” had not given much attention as valued in traditional medicinal practices in India. This work revised the lacking of taxonomic characters and the population status of this species which investigated from four major wetlands, (i.e., Chilika lagoon, Ansupa lake, Kanjia lake and Deras dam) of Odisha state, India. In field condition, the plant can be easily identified from other close relative species by their heterophilic leaf (i.e., polymerous submerged leaf and whorled or opposite sessile aerial dichotomous leaves), pedicellate flowers arranged in spikes, tubular or funnel-shaped pubescent petals with a bluish-violet tinge, didynamous stamen and fruits of ellipsoidal to globose capsule with numerous seed. Past studies reported it as a common weed in rice fields but lacked its distribution and existing population in any wetland where it had been recorded. Our field observation recorded the species is of rare and under threat for its existence in major wetlands of Odisha. The distribution was strongly contagious and species abundance was rare. The major cause of population decline was found to be habitat loss and invasion of other aggressive aquatic macrophytes such as Salvinia molesta, Eichhornia crassipes, Typha angustifolia, Phragmites karka, Pistia stratiotes, Ipomoea aquatica and few others. The immense medicinal potential of the plant reported in past and recent studies emphasizing to take necessary measures for its conservation in natural aquatic ecosystems of Odisha and India.