Jolbahar or Water sprite, Ceratopteris thalictroides

Jolbahar or Water sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides, family: Pteridaceae) is an annual aquatic fern with fibrous roots generated from the slender stipe. It can survive in floating or submerged conditions. Though it grows rapidly in submerged state. Stem and shoots are quadrangular, hollow inside. Stem is almost absent, very small, straight. It is found in shallow swamps and crop fields in Bangladesh.

Other names: Khudey dheki-shak (Bang); Indian fern, Water fern, Oriental waterfern, Water hornfern (Eng).

Fronds (or leaves) are so diverse in size and shape that differences can be seen in the same plant. These are multilobed, bipinnate or tripinnate. The mutilobed leaves are thick and barren, light green in color. The spore-producing leaves are linear, relatively dark green in color. Fertile fronds (20-90 cm) are longer than barren ones (10-60 cm). Like other land ferns, new leaves, like wrapped trunks, grow from the mother plant.

The fast-growing plant is widely planted as an aquarium plants throughout the tropics. Somewhere it is eaten as a vegetable. Presumably, its original habitat is Asia. However, its geographical extent is not less. Over time it has spread to the entire tropical and subtropical areas. 

Synonyms: Acrostichum siliquosum, Acrostichum thalictroides, Belvisia siliquosa, Ceratopteris deltoidea, Ceratopteris gaudichaudii, Ceratopteris siliquosa, Ellobocarpus cornuta, Furcaria cornuta, Furcaria thalictroides, Onychium cornutum, Pteris siliquosa, Pteris thalictroides, Teleozoma thalictroides


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