Monochoria vaginalis (weed)

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Monochoria vaginalis (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Francisco Manuel Blanco (Flora de Filipinas)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Monochoria vaginalis (weed) (Burm. f.) Presl. - (monochoria, duck-tongue weed)

This plant is native to tropical and subtropical parts of Asia and has become established in California, Hawaii and Fiji. It is an important weed of rice fields in the introduced areas, but also in parts of its native distribution range (e.g. see Shoji et al., 2013). It is sometimes eaten as a vegetable or grown as an ornamental.

In California, it is a preferred host plant for Macrosteles leaf hoppers, which are also rice pests and weaken the rice plants. The presence of the weed in rice fields, therefore, increases leaf hopper populations and lowers the ability of the rice plants to withstand competition by the weed or damage by pests (Way et al., 1983).