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Buffalo Spinach
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Buffalo Spinach
P Native Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Buffalo Spinach, Marsh herb, Water cress • Assamese: হেলোংচি Helonchi, হেক্চী Helchi • Bengali: হেল্চী Helchi, হেলোংচী Helonchi • Bodo: Elashi moigong • Hindi: हरकुच Harkuch, हरुच Haruch, मत्स्याक्षी Matsayaakshi • Manipuri: ꯀꯣꯝꯄ꯭ꯔꯦꯛ ꯇꯨꯖꯣꯝꯕꯤ Komprek tujombi • Sanskrit: मत्स्याक्षी Matsayaakshi
Botanical name: Enydra fluctuans    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Enydra anagallis, Enydra hingcha,

Buffalo Spinach is a perennial herb of swampy ground, with stems stout, cylindric, hairy, slightly fleshy, prostrate in lower part, 50-80 cm. Leaves are nearly stalkless, oblong or linear-oblong, 2-6 cm x 4-14 mm, finely gland-dotted on both surfaces, base stem-clasping, margin sparsely sawtoothed, tip blunt or pointed. Flower-heads are 0.8-1.0 cm across, with 4 prominent ovate-oblong bracts just below, 1.0-1.1 cm, tip rounded. Receptacle is about 3 mm in diameter; paleae rigid, about 5 mm, tip toothed and sparsely velvet-hairy. Ray florets are about 3 mm, blade 3- or 4-lobed in tip. Disk florets 5-lobed; stamens 5, rarely 6. Achenes are obovoid-cylindric, about 3.5 mm. Buffalo Spinach is found in marshes and streamsides, in the Himalayan foothills, China, SE Asia, and Australia. Leaves are eaten as salad and also cooked in some places. Flowering: November-April.
Medicinal uses: Decoction of the plant is used in urinal troubles, diarrhoea and dysentery.

Photographed in Assam.

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