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Family Salviniaceae
Salvinia auriculata Aubl.

Scientific names Common names
Salvinia auriculata Aubl. Salvinia (Engl.)
Salvinia molesta D. S. Mitchell Giant salvinia (Engl.)
Salvinia natans Kunth Kariba weed (Engl.)
  Water fern (Engl.)
  Water spangles (Engl.)
  Aquarium watermoss (Engl.)
  Koi candy (Engl.)

Salvinia auriculata is a free-floating aquatic fern, up to 20 centimeters long. Horizontal rhizome lies below the water surface. Fronds are of two types, buoyant or submerged, light-green to medium green, with brownish edges when mature, with a distinctive fold in the center. Floating leaves are boat-shaped, up to 2.5 centimeters long and 3.5 centimeters wide. Upper surface has even rows of papillae, each with a tuft of hairs at the distal end, joined together at the tips into a form similar to an inverted egg-beater. The cagelike structure of the end hairs give the plant buoyancy in water.

- Widespread in ponds, pools, and lakes throughout the Philippines.
- Occasional ornamental cultivation.
- Originated from South America.

- Yields proteins, nutrients, lignin, ash, and tannin.


No reported folkloric medicinal use.
- Potential as forage or papermaking.

Chemical Composition:
SM was analyzed for its suitability as source of forage for ruminants. The concentration of 12.4% crude protein in sand-corrected dry matter and of other nutrients is comparable to that in conventional forage. However, its high content of crude ash, lignin, and presence of tannins may reduce its acceptance and digestibility and its potential as forage for ruminants.
Antimicrobial Source Potential / Bovine Mastitis: In a study of extracts of two aquatic plants, S. auriculata and H. nymphoides, against bovine mastitis pathogens. Study concluded the aquatic plants to be potential sources for the investigation of new antimicrobial compounds.
Paper-making Potential: Study describes the potential use of S. molesta alone or in combination with rice-straw or waste textile cuttings in the paper industry, such as low grade papers such as kraft paper, newsprint, or tissue paper for packaging.
Phytoremediation / Waste-water Decontamination:
(1) S. natans has been shown to have great potential for the removal of heavy metals like lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr) and mercury (Hg) from waste water. (2) In the absence of other pollutants, Salvinia plants may be used for the removal of Ni from effluents.
Natansnin / Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective:
Study isolated natansnin, an unusual, novel, 1,2-dibenzoyl glycoside. Natasnin (1) showed 60.6% radical scavenging activity, (2) reduced lipid peroxidation and enzymes induced by CCl4, (3) restored activities of antioxidant enzymes,
(4) reduced the levels of apoptotic and inflammatory proteins. This was the first study that showed prior administration of natansnin ameliorated CCl4-induced acute liver injury in rats.


November 2011

IMAGE SOURCE: Line Drawing / Salvinia auriculata Aubl. - eared watermoss / USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 38. / USDA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Salvinia natans / Otto Wilhelm Thomé: Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz (1885) - Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber. / alterVISTA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Salvinia natans / Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber. Source: www.biolib.de / GNU Free Documentation / alterVISTA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Salvinia molesta (aquatic plant, herb) / Global Invasive Species Database
Chemical Composition of Water Fern, Salvinia molesta, and Its Potential as Feed Source for Ruminants
/ Mathew Moozhyil and Josep Pallauf / Economic Botany > Vol. 40, No. 3, 1986
Aquatic plants as potential sources of antimicrobial compounds active against bovine mastitis pathogens / Ciro Cesar Rossi, Ananda Pereira Aguilar et al / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 10(41), pp. 8023-8030, 3 August, 2011
Potential Use of an Aquatic Weed, Salvinia molesta, in Paper Industry
/ K R Bhardwaj / Bulletin of the National Institute of Ecology 15: 145-151, 2005
Protective efficacy of natansnin, a dibenzoyl glycoside from Salvinia natans against CCl4 induced oxidative stress and cellular degeneration in rat liver / Polimetia Srilaxmi, Gangadhara Reddy Sareddy, Polavarapu Bilhan Kavi Kishor et al / Srilaxmi et al. BMC Pharmacology 2010, 10:13
Studies of uptake and toxic effects of NI (II) on Salvinia natans / Asit K. Sen and Manisha Bhattacharyya / WATER, AIR, & SOIL POLLUTION, Volume 78, Numbers 1-2, 141-152, DOI: 10.1007/BF00475673

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