Halophila ovalis   (R.Brown) J.D.Hooker,  1858 (Seagrass)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Equisetopsida

Image copyrights: Chris Roelfsema

Plants dioecious. Rhizomes creeping, branched, slender, fleshy, brittle, semitransparent. Roots solitary at each node with soft root hairs. Internodes upto 5.5 cm long, upto 2.5 mm thick. Scales 2, one embracing the base of the petioles and the other embracing the rhizomes. Leaves 4-12.6 cm long, paired at nodes, glabrous. Petioles subterete, fleshy, transparent. Lamina oblong-elliptic, oblanceolate, linear-elliptic, linear-oblong, cuneate to slightly oblique at base, rarely subtruncate, obtuse to acute at apex, entire or rarely undulate along margins, pale to dark green.
Flowers solitary, axillary, subtended by 2 subequal spathes. Spathes elliptic to lanceolate, truncate at base, hooded or acuminate at apex, entire along margins, convolute, transparent. Male flowers upto 4 cm. Stalks terete, slender, fleshy, and hyaline. Tepals 3, broad elliptic, truncate at base, hooded or obtuse at apex, concave, convolute, brownish without, whitish within. Stamens 3, brownish. Filaments minute or absent. Anthers oblongoid, connective tissue yellow, remains erect even after shedding the pollens. Pollen grains oblong, contained in a mucilage sheath forming chains. Female flowers 2-5.3 cm long, subsessile. Spathes ovate, oblong or lanceolate, subtruncate at base, obtuse to acuminate at apex, entire along margins, concave, convolute, transparent. Ovary ellipsoid, white to pale yellow. Styles 3, equal, all inserted at the same point, papillose adaxially, smooth abaxially.
Fruits ovoid to ellipsoid, white to pale yellow. Hypanthium terete, straight or curved with dilated apex, semitransparent, persistent. Pericarp translucent, scarious, white. Seeds globose to ellipsoid, bluntly beaked at both ends, 18-27 in number, with a few aborted ovules. Testa reticulate, thin, white when young, brown when mature. Embryo globose, white. Cotyledon spirally coiled on the anterior side, with a pinkish dot at the centre. Flowering and fruiting is throughout the year.

Synonym (s)
Caulina ovalis R. Brown, 1810
Caulinia ovalis R. Brown, 1810
(Homotypic synonym)
Halophila madagascarensis Doty & Stone, 1967
(Heterotypic synonym)
Halophila ovata auct. non. Gaud, 1827

Common Name (s)
• Aathu Korai (Tamil)
• Aathu Ponnanganni (Tamil)
• Alai Vaari (Tamil)
• Chinna Ponnanganni (Tamil)
• Elai Passi (Tamil)
• Kadal Paasi (Tamil)
• Kuthippu Paasi (Tamil)
• Murungai Paasi (Tamil)
• Neer Pasalai (Tamil)
• Poduthalai Paasi (Tamil)
• Vaataalai (Tamil)
• Aaaku Naasi (Telugu)
• Dheghu Naasi (Telugu)
• Elai Paasi (Telugu)
• Naasi (Telugu)
• Samuthra Naasi (Telugu)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Ecosystem balance
(Leaves and roots are used as local medicines. The leaf extract along with turmeric is used to cure various skin diseases and burns. Plants are also used as manure for coconut plantation.
Halophila beds form an ideal place for breeding of various marine fauna such as prawns, crabs, eel fishes, etc. Decaying older parts add organic matter to the marine environment.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine, Sandy, Muddy
Trophic Level:  Producer


• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary (Lat: 11.48) (Long: 79.77) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chinnavaikkal (Lat: 11.45) (Long: 79.78) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Suheli (Lat: 10.08) (Long: 72.28) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti (Lat: 10.83) (Long: 72.2) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Bangaram (Lat: 10.93) (Long: 72.28) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy (Lat: 8.12) (Long: 73.3) INDIA
• East Coast, Coromandel INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Parangipettai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary (Lat: 11.43) (Long: 79.76) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Manoli Island (Lat: 9.2) (Long: 79.11) INDIA (Record: 09/2006)
• Tamil Nadu, Krusadai Island INDIA (Record: 24/02/1959, 18/01/1977, 21/04/1988, 25/09/1987) (Depth: 2-4 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram Lagoon INDIA (Record: 11/02/1979)
• Pondicherry, Nalla Vadu INDIA (Record: 27/07/1981)
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram INDIA (Record: 12/08/1982)
• Tamil Nadu, Rameswaram, Ramatheertham INDIA (Record: 13/02/1987) (Depth: ±2 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Hare Island INDIA (Record: 21/02/1987) (Depth: ±1.5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin, Thirespuram INDIA (Record: 22/02/1987) (Depth: ±1 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Cuddalore, Uppanar Estuary INDIA (Record: 19/03/1987) (Depth: ±1 mts)
• Pondicherry, Thavalakuppam, Chunnambar Estuary INDIA (Record: 21/03/1987) (Depth: ±1 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA (Record: 23/03/1987) (Depth: ±4 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram Lagoon, Killaiyar INDIA (Record: 26/03/1987) (Depth: ±5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Ennore INDIA (Record: 16/05/1987) (Depth: ±1.5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA (Record: 18/05/1987) (Depth: ±4 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Tiruchchendur INDIA (Record: 16/07/1987) (Depth: ±2.5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Kayalpatnam INDIA (Record: 18/07/1987) (Depth: ±4 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur, Mallipattinam INDIA (Record: 16/09/1987) (Depth: ±2 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Idinthakarai INDIA (Record: 23/07/1987) (Depth: ±4 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur, Adhirampattinam INDIA (Record: 15/09/1987) (Depth: ±4 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Manora INDIA (Record: 17/09/1987) (Depth: ±1.5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Mimisal INDIA (Record: 22/09/1987) (Depth: ±1 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA (Record: 14/09/1987) (Depth: ±3 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Nellore, West Tauvinapatnam INDIA (Record: 07/1883)
• Andhra Pradesh, Chinnaganjam INDIA (Record: 02/1890)
• Andhra Pradesh, Nizampatnam INDIA (Record: 22/06/1988) (Depth: ±1.5 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Nellore, Krishnapatnam Port INDIA (Record: 16/09/1988) (Depth: ±2.5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Kollidam, Pazhaiyar Estuary INDIA (Record: 27/03/1987) (Depth: ±2 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Chengalpattu, Muttukkadu Backwater INDIA (Record: 22/05/1987) (Depth: ±2 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Chengalpattu, Perumalcherry INDIA (Record: 24/05/1987) (Depth: ±3 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Manappadu INDIA (Record: 19/07/1987) (Depth: ±4 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Nellai Kattabomman, Nadar Uvari INDIA (Record: 20/07/1987) (Depth: ±3 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Pudukottai, Manamelkudi INDIA (Record: 21/09/1987) (Depth: ±1.5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Pudukottai, Jagathapattinam INDIA (Record: 22/09/1987) (Depth: ±3 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Pamban INDIA (Record: 26/09/1987) (Depth: ±3 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Thonithurai INDIA (Record: 20/04/1988) (Depth: ±2.5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Rameswaram, Ramatheertham INDIA (Record: 24/04/1988) (Depth: ±1.5 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin Harbour INDIA (Record: 30/04/1988) (Depth: ±3.5 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Nizampatnam Harbour INDIA (Record: 23/06/1988) (Depth: ±3.5 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Prakasam, Pedhapallipalem INDIA (Record: 25/06/1988) (Depth: ±2 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Kothapatnam, Gunnamola INDIA (Record: 28/06/1988) (Depth: ±2 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Ethamukkalu, Madanoor INDIA (Record: 29/06/1988, 15/09/1988) (Depth: 1-2 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Kavali, Ramayapatnam INDIA (Record: 02/07/1988) (Depth: ±1 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Kavali, Karedu INDIA (Record: 03/07/1988) (Depth: ±2.5 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Nellore, Utukuru INDIA (Record: 06/07/1988) (Depth: ±2 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Nellore, Mahalakshmipuram INDIA (Record: 09/07/1988) (Depth: ±1 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Bhimunipatnam INDIA (Record: 08/09/1988) (Depth: ±1 mts)
• Gujarat INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• West Bengal INDIA
• Orissa INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Thirumullaivasal, Uppanar Estuary INDIA (Record: 1988-1989)
• West Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Off Kattapadu-Tiruchchendur Coast INDIA (Record: 12/1986-03/1987)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kattapadu-Tiruchchendur INDIA (Record: 12/1986-03/1987)
• Tamil Nadu, Alantalai-Manapad INDIA (Record: 03/1988)
• Tamil Nadu, Vembar-Nallatanni Tivu INDIA (Record: 03/1988)
• Tamil Nadu, Valinokkam-Kilakarai INDIA (Record: 01/1989)
• Tamil Nadu, Manapad-Kanniyakumari INDIA (Record: 03/1990)
• Tamil Nadu, Muttukadu Estuary (Lat: 13) (Long: 80) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar, Hare Island INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Krusadai Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andamans INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Katchall INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nancowry INDIA
• Bay of Bengal INDIA (Record: 01/1987-09/1988)
• Palk Bay INDIA (Record: 01/1987-09/1988)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA (Record: 01/1987-09/1988)

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Page last updated on:2011-09-29

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