Chinese Water Chestnut
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Chinese Water Chestnut
P Native Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Chinese Water Chestnut, Lake sedge rice • Manipuri: ꯀꯛꯊꯨꯝ Kakthum, ꯢꯁꯤꯡ ꯀꯥꯑꯣꯊꯨꯝ Ising kaothum
Botanical name: Eleocharis dulcis    Family: Cyperaceae (Sedge family)
Synonyms: Scirpus spiralis, Carex tuberosa, Andropogon dulcis

Chinese water chestnut is a rush-like sedge forming small clusters, sterile stems up to 1.4 m. Rhizomes are short, emitting white runners which end in a small turnip-shaped, edible tuber. Stems are 3-5 mm in diameter, round, with prominent septae 2-5 cm apart, often with less pronounced septa between. Flower-spikes are 20-50 x 7-10 mm; two basal glumes green, lower almost completely clasping, upper opposite, smaller; glumes 6.5-8 mm, finally yellowish grey, boat-shaped, with clear mid-nerve, other nerves obscure, margin scarious, 0.5 mm wide, tip rounded. Perianth bristles 6-8, rigid, yellowish, about equalling nut. Chinese Water Chestnut is found in field margins, lake margins, near sea level to 1500 m. It is native to Africa, India to Australia. Flowering: May-September.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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