Chinese Arrowhead
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Chinese Arrowhead
P Native Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Chinese Arrowhead, Threeleaf arrowhead • Bengali: Chhotokut • Manipuri: ꯀꯧꯈꯥ কৌখা Koukha • Assamese: পানী কচু Pani kachu
Botanical name: Sagittaria trifolia    Family: Alismataceae (Water Plantain family)
Synonyms: Sagittaria sinensis, Sagittaria sagittifolia var. edulis, Sagittaria chinensis

Chinese Arrowhead is a runner forming herb, runners often ending in a tuber. Leaves are aerial at least when mature, arrow shaped, sheathing, tip tapering to rounded, lateral lobes longer than middle lobe. Flowers are borne in racemes, in 3 to many whorls of 3 flowers, lower 1-3 whorls usually branched; bracts free or fused toward base. Flowers are unisexual; female flowers on lower 1-8 whorls, with short flower-stalks; male flowers with flower-stalks 0.5-1.5 cm. Sepals are reflexed, ovate, 3-5 x 2.5-3.5 mm. Petals are obovate, about twice as large as sepals. Stamens are numerous; anthers yellow. Achenes are obliquely obovoid, 4.5-5.5 x 4-5 mm, winged, with an erect, apical beak. Chinese Arrowhead has underground tubers and is cultivated as a food crop in NE India and parts of Asia. The tubers are high in starch and highly nutritious. Chinese Arrowhead is native to NE India, S. European Russia to Japan and Malesia. Flowering: May-November.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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