The Ethnobotanical Study of an Edible Freshwater Red Alga, Lemanea fluviatilis (L.) C.Ag. from Manipur, India

Rahul A Bhosale, Jayashree Rout, Bhupal Baburao Chaugule


An ethnobotanical study of an edible fresh water red alga Lemanea fluviatilis (L.) C.Ag. was carried out in the Thoubaldistrict of Manipur State, India. The alga locally known as nungsham, due to its hair like growth on stone, growsprofusely in the rocky and shallow river beds of the Chakpi and Manipur rivers. In earlier reports, the alga was misidentifiedas Lemanea australis. Harvested by the women of the Meitei, Kuki and Kuki-Chin-Mizo communites, the sun dried alga is sold in the local market. The dried filaments are eaten with major meals. A total of 23 strategically selected informants have been interviewed throughstructured questionnaires to obtain indigenous knowledge about the alga and its uses. Detailed morphological andreproductive features are described to reveal the correct taxonomic status of the species. Some ethnopharmacologicalinformation is also incorporated.

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