Carolina Fanwort
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Carolina Fanwort
P Naturalized Unknown Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Carolina Fanwort, Red cabomba
Botanical name: Cabomba caroliniana    Family: Nymphaeaceae (Waterlily family)
Synonyms: Cabomba australis

Carolina Fanwort is an aquatic floating herb, up to 2 m long, branched, thinly mucilaginous; shoots green, sometimes reddish brown. Leaves are dimorphic; leaf-stalks 1-3 cm long, velvet-hairy; sub-merged leaves finely dissected, flabellate in outline, 2-5 cm wide; at branch-ends segments slightly spoon-shaped, 0.3-0.8 mm broad with an obscure midnerve; floating leaves peltate, linear-oblong to elliptic, often notched at one end, blunt and rounded at the other, 5-20 x 1.5-3 mm, velvet-hairy beneath, green. Flowers 1-1.5 cm across, 6-12 mm long, purplish, milky white to creamy with margin tinged purple, with a pair of yellow spots at base of each petal, rising above water on flower-cluster-stalks from upper leaf axils; flower-cluster-stalks 2-8 cm long, velvet-hairy. Sepals and petals 3 each, the former elliptic, the later obovate, blunt or notched at tip, eard near base, 5-12 x 2-7 mm. Stamens 3-6. Carpels 2-4, elongate, divergent at maturity, finely velvet-hairy; seeds ovoid, 1.5-3 x 1-5 mm, covered with hygroscopic hairs. Carolina Fanwort is native to North America, naturalized in parts of ther world.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Angamali, Ernakulam distt., Kerala.

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