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Discussion Starter #1
I was dining at a Vietnamese Pho restaurant several months ago. As usual, they brought out a plate of herbs. One herb caught my eye in particular because it "looked like" a plant that can live near/in water. I brought a stalk home to test. Lo and behold, it grew quite vigorously and take to prunings very well. I went back to the restaurant, hoping to get more information about the plant. As it turns out, his family used to grow these herbs in their rice paddies back in Vietnam. In fact, he noted that the plant loves moisture as his family farmed them with the roots logged in water. :D While he couldn't tell me its scientific name, he did give me its Vietnamese name: "can o". It is most popular for its use in "canh chua", a very famous sour soup.

The plant smells very nice: a cross between basil and lemon leaves. Its emersed leaves (very similar to its submersed leaves) resemble those of the other Limnophila aromatica. They also resemble some members of the Pogostemon genus but I ruled that out given the dissimilar spatial arrangement of the leaves. Beside, I don't think that genus include any aromatic members. Does it?

When summer rolls around, I'll try to flower it. But in the mean time, would anyone like to take a guess at its identity or know a thing or two about the Vietnamese language as pertained to botany?

Thank you very much for your insight.



 

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neat plant,

I am pretty certain that is indeed Limnophila aromatica like you suggested. There are some other aquatic plants in Vietnamese cooking too.
 

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I use to have something like this before. IT's looks very similar. I got it from magnus who found it in some greeks in northern california. We did call it an arommatica, but we weren't too sure what the var name was. I just called it green. I do know that some other guys on the forum would know the real name, hopefully they will respond.
 

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litesky said:
I use to have something like this before. IT's looks very similar. I got it from magnus who found it in some greeks in northern california. We did call it an arommatica, but we weren't too sure what the var name was. I just called it green. I do know that some other guys on the forum would know the real name, hopefully they will respond.
I also got some from Magnus. It's definitely the same plant as cS's, and it's Limnophila aromatica. It makes an interesting tea.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh wow! Thank you very much for all the information. Does any of you have photos of this plant in your tanks? Over the past several days, the plant has begun to produce very healthy corkscrew leaves in groups of 3-5 per whorl/node. The leaves have also become much narrower than those in the above photographs. Very peculiar. :?

I went back to the restaurant last night and the owner gave me another plant that he claimed to love soggy soil. With the help of Andrew's link, I found its name to be Polygonum odoratum. Aside from its exquisite tart flavor, the plant produces green leaves with distinct purple variegation. We'll see if this pattern persist submersed.

It seems that raiding the kitchens of local ethnic restaurants just may be the next best thing to an organized expedition to the tropics. Brazilian cuisine anyone? :mrgreen:
 

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Left side. I still have this, the leaves never straighten out. It's irritating but pretty darn cool all at once.

 
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