Tilok pana or Floating fern, Salvinia natans

Tilok pana or Floating fern (Salvinia natans, family: Salviniaceae) is a aquatic herb which floates on water, 1-3 cm in length. Actually it is an annual water fern. The good-looking fern grows well in stagnant water with the support of humid air and wide daylight. It is found throughout the tropical regions of the world.

Other names: Ulki pana (Bang); Floating watermoss, Floating moss, Water butterfly wings (Eng).

It has two leaves, which float on the water. Another leaf that is half-floating acts as root. Its leaves have a special layer to keep the process of photosynthesis from excess sunlight and to prevent it from rotting in water.

As ferns reproduce through their spores, so does this plant. 

It is found in canals, beels and ditches in Bangladesh along with Kochuri-pana, Topapana, Khudipana and other aquatic plants. This aquatic fern is also a refuge for small fish.


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