Hygrophila auriculata

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Hygrophila auriculata (Schumach) Heine
  • Synonyms : Asteracantha auriculata Nees, Asteracantha longifolia Nees
  • Common Name : Marsh Barbel, Gokul Kanto, Ekhro, Kolshinda, Talimkhana
  • Plant Family : Acanthaceae
  • Plant Form : Herb
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Hygrophila auriculata Plant :

  • Habit : A herb growing in wet places.
  • Stem : Square and thickened at nodes, hairy.
  • Leaves : Six at a node, oblong, lanceolate, base narrow, sessile, hairy; the outer leaves of the whorl larger than others, each one with a yellow straight spine in its axil.
  • Flowers :
    • 4-pairs at each node, bracts leaf-like, lanceolate, hairy, bracteoles linear-lanceolate, lower portion ciliate with long white hairs.
    • Calyx 4-partite, sepals upper broader, lanceolate, ciliate and hairy.
    • Corolla purplish-blue, bilabiate, tube swollen, lips subequal, the upper bifid, lobes oblong, the lower with 2 crest-like longitudinal folds on the palate deeply 3-lobed.
    • Stamens 4, didynamous, filaments unequal.
    • Ovary 2-celled, ovules 4 in each cell, style hairy, stigma acuminate.
  • Fruit : Capsule oblong, seeds 4-8, with hygroscopical white hairs.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : June-January
  • Significance :
    • Common in swampy areas.
    • Seeds are used as a tonic and aphrodisiac.