Non-Conventional food Plants available in and around Loktak Lake, Bishnupur (Manipur)
Keywords:Non-conventional, food plants, freshwater lake, floating humus, Moirang
Loktak Lake is the largest fresh water lake in North East India. The lake is situated at Moirang in the Bishnupur District, Manipur about 48 km to South from Imphal city. This Lake extends about 287 km2. Loktak Lake has an indispensable relationship with the people of the state since time immemorial from socio- cultural and economic viewpoints. Many edible plants are available in and around the Lake. The food plants which are not commonly available in the market and those which are not commonly utilized as food throughout the country are considered as non-conventional food plants. There are various plants which grow in the lake as submerged, free floating, rooted with floating leaves, emergents, etc. and some are found to grow on the floating humus (Phum). The main food of the Brow Antlered Deer (Rucervus eldi eldi) which is found only in Keibul Lamjao National Wildlife Sanctuary near the Loktak Lake is a variety of young shoots of grasses, herbaceous plants, Zizania latifolia, etc. Some important non-conventional food plants available in and around the Lake are Hedichium flavum (Loklei), Alpinia allughas (Pullei), Euryale ferox (Thangjing), Nymphaea stellata (Thariktha), Nymphaea alba (Tharo angouba), Oenanthe javanica (Komprek), Ipomoea aquatica (Kolamni), Nelumbo nucifera (Thambou, Thamchet and Thamna khenjong), Sagittaria sagittifolia (Koukha), Trapa bispinosa (Heikak) Zizania latifolia (kambong) etc. Some plants such as Ipomoea aquatica (Kolamni) and Alpinia allughas (Pullei), Neptunia oleracea (Eshing Ekaithabi), Ludwigia adscendens (Eshing Kundo), etc. have medicinal importance. These food plants are very rich in vitamins and minerals.
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