Shushni or Four-leaved clover, Marsilea minuta

Shushni or 4-leaved clover (Marsilea minuta, family: Marsileaceae) is an annual creeping herb. It is an aquatic fern of Bangladesh, found floating in the water along with Water spinach, Alligator weed and many other aquatic plants during the monsoon season. In addition, it can be seen in waterside area or wet soil. Roots from each node of stem help the plant to creep on ground. It has spectacular four leaves in each stalk. As an ornamental aquatic plant it can be planted in water-tub or lakes and ponds of gardens. 

The geographical range of the plant is quite large. It is found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Leaves are light green, almost round, leaf blade (3-4 cm across) divided in to four parts. These are almost triangular or ovoid with rounded end. Petiole is narrow and long.

If it grows in wet or dry places, the edges of the leaves become dented. The length of the petiole ncreases as the water level rises.

As a non-flowering plant, it produces sporocarp, which works as seed. It can be propagated by stolons and sporocarps. The plant is stimulant, diuretic and narcotic. It is also used in the treatment of snakebite. There is a long tradition of using it as a vegetable in the Indian subcontinent.


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