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Isoetes : 19 posts by 8 authors. Attachments (1)

Isoetus species (may be I. coromandelina).
For non-botanists friends: this plant may look like a grass or sedge but it belongs to a primitive group of plants ‘pteridophyte’. It propagates through ‘spores’ and it doesn’t know what flowers & fruits are! It prefers to grow in marshy habitats.


Nice photo.  looks similar to grass.


Thanks for sharing. We first saw this genus in Pachmarhi, but unfortunately there no digital cameras then, 30 years back.


Very interestingly, I collected my only Isoetes in Ranchi and had it alive for few days in my aquarium thinking it to be some Vallisneria.
But it died and after that I realised it was not a grass at all. I hated the plant at that time…..why? dont know why, but all my fishes
in the aquarium died in one night after I had planted this in the aquarium!!

Then I think I missed my second Isoetes during my field work in Palamau district, this time an epiphytic one. God!! even Dr. Aparna
says, I have missed many new species, more than anyone else has even been able to describe. This was with reference to the fact that I have
missed describing two new genera and two more new species of orchids!!
It could really have been a new species.
Panchamarhi has been very famous for many plants which also includes, Psilotum nudum!! I imagine this Satpura hypothesis has something very unique about this area.

i have also seen Isoetes in Panchmari and have also collected it a few population grows around the Panchamri Lake which is a man made water body. 


Thank you all for sharing your personal experiences with Isoetes.
…, i remembered your recent anecdote about Rumphius (!!!). Don’t worry, if you have missed, someone will publish all these plants soon!!! and will honour you perhaps! (lol).
Dear …, Pachmarhi is one of the places i always wanted to survey. Still awaiting for the opportunities!


There is a recent article in current science by Dr. A K Bhatnagar from DU about unscrupulous collection of herbarium and plant specimens by college students and he has specially mentioned about frequent trips of DU botany students to Panchamarhi!!!

Yes …, we will go there sometimes when you are back at home in India.


You are right!
Still people (some, espl students) have the tendency of collecting more number of samples of rare and threatened species. Because they think that they can not collect it again elsewhere so they want to collect as much as possible (and sometimes howmuchever available in that place!). Nepenthes khasiana is an another examples of species getting more threatened owing to scientific collections. Their representation in the herbaria will be higher than in the living condition. The lab attenders and the heads of Botany department in colleges and universities should think about it and make necessary steps to minimize the collection of these botanically curious and interesting species. 
Perhaps … may wish to throw more light on this (serious) issue.


I think authorities should urge students to take good pictures for their reference which could be enough to prove that yes they saw and studied the plant rather than everyone collecting and making herbarium, UNLESS, the collection is done for research purpose.

When I take students out, I usually explain the plants myself or give them keys to identify, and dont tell anyone to collect, just take pics. I do dissect 2-3 flowers to explain at times, if needed, especially incase of orchids, when you need to show them the inner parts.


It is a very good idea, and sure to catch up with students. These days digital photography being part of almost every mobile phone and even low end digital cameras, teachers should ask students to take photographs of specific plants, give names (or make them identify using keys, books or otherwise), ask them to collect relevant information and submit this as report in printed form or preferably electronic version (power point, slide show movie with relevant text and sound through move maker or other suitable program) in place of Herbarium collection.
The problem is how to sell this idea to educational authorities. All of us can make some efforts. We have a botanyteachers yahoo group for Botany teachers of Delhi. There is move  in last so many years to discontinue plant collection. This is a good alternative. I will sell the idea there.

That will really be a nice effort from your side.


I have initiated the idea


Hope things work out for the goodness of floristic wealth of India.


Its Isoetes (not Isoetus) can be easily identified on the basis of velum character and megaspore ornamentation. 


Isoetes, but from its size (alone) it doesn’t look like I. coromandelina. However the poster has not even given any information as to which State or locality it came from! 
And surely from all the great mass of literature, he must be aware that one has to see details of the spores, especially the megaspores. 


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