Few people know that nuts grow not only in the ground or in trees, but also in water. On the surface of quiet freshwater reservoirs you can see the tracery rosette of leaves. This is a water chestnut, or chilim. This plant belongs to the Rogulnikov family and at the beginning of the last century was very common. Now Chilim is listed in the Red Book. And the plant is very ancient, traces of it were found on the excavations of the interglacial period.
Archaeologists believe that in antiquity, water chestnut (chilim) was one of the staple foods. After all, many of its shells were found at the sites of the Stone Age. This nut was also very popular in Russia: in the 10th century it was sold in bags.
What is a water chestnut
The photo of this plant shows how unusual it is. The flexible long stem is held at the bottom with the help of last year's nuts or thin brown roots. Sometimes the plant, reaching a length of up to five meters, floats in the water column. On the surface only an open rosette of leaves is visible.
They look a bit like birch trees and are unequally attached to the stem, forming a beautiful pattern. During flowering tender white flowers appear. Fruit is water nut itself. It is a juicy white seed about two centimeters in size. It is enclosed in a very strong brown shell with four growths that look like horns. Therefore, the plant is sometimes referred to as "floating rogulnik." The unusualness of this plant is that it is held on the surface of the water with the help of cavities filled with air. They are located in petioles. As the nuts mature, the cavities increase to keep them heavy.
As chilim grows
Lying at the bottom of the nuts are fixed with their horns and are able to survive until forty years. When it germinates, the root appears first. It grows vertically upwards, and then in an arc it sinks to the bottom and takes root. The shell rises and disappears over time. Leaves appear on the stem, and in summer the plant blooms. Flowers emerge from the water only in the morning and in the evening, even the plant in its thickness is pollinated. A fruit that ripens in the autumn is a drupe. Usually, 10-15 nuts appear on a single plant. At this time, the Chilim comes off from the bottom, and the rosette of leaves floats on the water, and clusters of nuts hang from it. Over time, the leaves and stem will rot, and the nuts will sink to the bottom.
Where watermelon is common
Chilim likes calm water and muddy bottom. Therefore, it is found in lakes, ponds, oxbows and quiet backwaters, creating thickets in favorable conditions. Even 60 years ago, Chilim was distributed in the basins of many rivers. He grew up in the Caucasus, in Kazakhstan and in the south of Siberia. In the European part of Russia, he met almost the entire territory before Kaliningrad. And in the vicinity of the city of Murom there is even Lake Orekhovoe. This plant was called differently: rogulnik, water chestnut, chilim, water chestnut. The Red Book, where it fell at the end of the last century, ranks it among endangered species.
True, in some countries, Chilim, on the contrary, is growing strongly: in Japan and China it is specially grown in lakes, it was brought to North America, where it settled down well, and in Australia some water bodies are completely overgrown with shoots. Why does the floating water nut disappear in many countries? First of all, because of the appearance of reservoirs that have disturbed its natural habitat. In addition, chilim spreads, clinging to the horns of animal hair coming to the watering place. And because of the economic activity of man, they became smaller. In Russia, there are about 30 species of this plant. The most unusual is the water nut Maksimovich with small fruits and without thorns and Siberian, the scope of the "horns" which is up to 6 centimeters.
Is it possible to grow chilim
If you have the opportunity to collect the ripe fruits of the water nut, you can dilute it. For this we need a not very deep pond, but not freezing in winter. An important condition for the good development of the plant is the absence of large mollusks. For chilim a thick layer of fertile soil is desirable, but you can grow it in a container.
It is necessary to fill it with silt and drown. Perezimovat nut can at home in the refrigerator in a jar of water. In the spring, the fruits are placed in containers with sludge and sunk to a depth of 10-15 centimeters in a place warmed by the sun. The water nut grows when the water warms up to 25 °. If you grow a nut in shallow water, then after the appearance of several floating leaves you need to move it to a depth of at least a meter.
The composition and properties of plants
Water chestnut very often saved people in the years of hunger because it has high nutritional properties. In addition, it is not only tasty, but also very useful, therefore it is used to treat many diseases, not only in folk but also in official medicine - the preparation Tripasid is used from it, which is used in atherosclerosis. The nutritional properties of chilim are explained by the fact that it contains many vitamins, nitrogenous and phenolic compounds, tannins. Fruits are 50% starchy, in addition, they have protein, some fat and carbohydrates. Of the mineral salts, water chestnut contains phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iron.
How to eat chili
Water chestnut can be consumed in any form. It is tasty raw - it is added to salads or eaten so. Flour made from milled grains, goes to the baking of bread, which is similar in taste to wheat.
Chilima is also made for cereal porridge, add it to pastries, canned, boiled, fried or baked, In any form, it is tasty. In the East, such a dish of chilim is popular: it is fried and salted. They eat like our seeds. Keep the walnut in a cool place and best of all unpeeled. After removing the shell, fruits lose their taste after a couple of days.
The use of chilim in medicine
All parts of the plant are used for treatment, but most often the nuts themselves. Fruits of water chestnut have tonic, astringent, choleretic and diuretic properties. Therefore, it is used to treat kidney disease and diarrhea. Even in ancient times, healers noticed the ability of Chilim to restore human strength after serious illnesses. It also has a strong antiseptic and antiviral effect. People who eat these nuts often don’t get sick with colds. Chilim helps to recover from stress and get out of depression, it is used for gonorrhea, impotence, and even malignant tumors. Often fresh juice is taken orally for various eye diseases. It also relieves itching and swelling after snake and insect bites.
1. Infusion of a water nut is prepared as follows: a tablespoon of dried flowers and leaves of the plant is poured with a glass of hot water and left in a water bath for 15 minutes. After infusion for an hour, the infusion must be drained. It is used in or out for compresses and washes. For external use, you can make a more concentrated infusion by adding more herbs.
2. Chilim juice is also often used. Squeeze it out of the whole plant and diluted with cold boiled water. For ingestion, the proportions should be 1 to 10, and for outdoor use - 1 to 3. They drink it most often with eye diseases of 30-40 drops several times a day. A concentrated juice is good for herpes.
3. Baked or boiled nuts are also used for treatment. Several of these fruits, taken every hour, help with diarrhea. A plate cut from the middle of the nut effectively relieves toothache and swelling during fluxing.
Water nut application
A horner or chilim is a very plant, surprising in its life cycle. It begins with an amazingly shaped walnut and grows into a beautiful surface outlet that spreads leaves on the water surface of a freshwater body.
Rogul decorate any water source, where there is no strong currents. Water nut is now rarely found anywhere, in some places in Siberia and the Far East. However, a wonder can be grown in an aquarium or a home pond. Chilim will become the pride of the owners, as this plant is already listed in the Red Book. How to grow a ragulnik on a lake or pond, the plant grower will learn from this useful garden guide.
The plant is a tall stem with underwater and above-water leaves, belongs to the family of rogulnik. Walnut has several interesting names, formed due to the region of growth and culture of the people who inhabited it - "chilim", "damn walnut", "water chestnut" and "dragon".
Rogul structure features:
- They have a linear shape, the latter are located above the water and have a diamond shape.
- The leaves on the surface are very similar to the green of birch.
- In summer, the resulting rosette begins to bloom with white or pinkish inflorescences. They float only in the morning and in the evening, in the afternoon the inflorescences are under water.
- The leaves of the roguel in the fall acquire a beautiful brownish-brown hue.
- The fruits of the Chilim are very similar to the small heads of a dragon - they have 4 horns and a florid body.
The beauty and unusualness of the fruits of Chilim became famous all over the world. They are often used as decorative elements in compositions. The fruits of the plant have such an unusual form for a reason. The "horns" of the nut are intended for migration from one reservoir to another. Whenever an animal enters the water, a nut clings to its wool and travels on its “transport” to the next body of water. So the plant populations grew. However, due to the mass extermination of wild animals, the nut's habitat declined sharply. Now the strange fruit is very rare.
Since the plant practically disappears due to its massive use in the recent past, it is listed in the Red Book.
Rogul has several species and is divided into annual and perennial plants. For cultivation of chilim at home use the leaf-like form, Japanese, Manchurian, Russian or Siberian. The plant prefers warm ponds, fresh, without cold and fast undercurrents. This should be a lake or pond with standing water. In order to successfully grow a rare plant will have to work to create the conditions for the rodent.
Rogulnik loves warm water, with diffused sunlight. Water temperature is at least 23 °. Sunlight should constantly illuminate the water surface. Chilim prefers fresh water, standing water. The plant will not grow in a dirty pond. The bottom should be clean and free of impurities.
In small containers, it also will not grow, the rogger prefers a capacious and deep container.
The height of the stem of a nut can reach 3–4 m. It is inexpedient to grow a plant in small aquariums, since it is mainly bred for the sake of medicinal fruits. It is possible to collect them in large quantities only from a few plants, and not from one.
Much attention should be paid to the substrate for the rogner:
- The pond is filled with silt, greasy clay and sand.
- It is necessary to grow the plant only in pure silt without impurities.
- Do not take the substrate from the first lake, try to find out whether the reservoir is polluted with industrial waste.
- The quality of the substrate will determine the success of the cultivation of walnut.
Of course, in cold regions the rogner in an open reservoir will not grow. In this case, it is worth thinking about a big home aquarium for the nut. In the rest, the plant does not require any special conditions other than those indicated.
Reproduction and landing of a rogulnik
The water nut propagates by seeds. Fruits are stored in canvas bags or wooden boxes. The nut retains its germination for several years. The fruit is germinated in water with observance of all conditions - temperature conditions and lighting.
Recommendations for planting seeds of rosary:
- Seeds are placed in the soil at the bottom of the reservoir for 3 weeks. During this period should appear sprout. The root rises to the top and in an arc again descends into the ground. The walnut floats to the surface. From it forms a rosette.
- Seeds are planted in spring, since it is during this period that the plant wakes up and begins its life cycle.
- If the pot is planned to grow in an aquarium, and not in a pond, arrange a special pot for it. Fill the tank with greasy clay, sand and clean sludge. In this container, and will develop a nut. Water should be fresh, warm - 20 ° -25 °.
The important point is the lighting. Especially when the plant is grown at home. Direct the light to the aquarium; it should illuminate the tank for at least 10 hours. Walnut is usually placed in the background of the reservoir near the walls, in the corner. During the growing season, the plant "walks", that is, it should be able to move.
Providing all the conditions and observing the rules of planting, the nut will grow strong and healthy. It is necessary to take care of chilim, despite the fact that it develops beautifully on its own.
Planting a nut in the aquarium, make sure the water is clean. It is advisable to change it in volume by about a quarter of the total displacement. The soil should also not be contaminated. The main requirement for successful walnut development is to maintain the temperature regime. Supercooled water contributes to the death of the plant. Lack of coverage will also lead to stunted growth and fruit formation. If the rogler does not have enough light, he eloquently shows this - the leaves do not spread along the water, but stretch upward toward the sun.
If the plant is grown in a pond, care must be taken to ensure that gastropods do not grow in it.
The main "enemies" of the nut are reels and pond snails. They actively gnaw green plants. If a lot of them divorced, then the rogtel is likely to die. Stem and roots will be eaten by mollusks. Small freshwater inhabitants will not cause significant harm, but it is worth protecting from large chilim.
In autumn, when the nut fully ripens, the leaves and stem of the chilim die off. This moment should not be missed. Nuts need time to collect, dry and store for storage in a warm, dark place, or use them for its intended purpose - in cooking or for medical purposes. Aquarium or pond cleaned. The next planting of seeds is carried out in the spring, as it is laid in the biorhythm of the plant. Some chilim growers store the fruit in water, as it does in nature. This is the best option if you plan to plant nuts for later harvest.
Chilim fruit in length reaches 4 cm, with a diameter of 2.5 cm has several horned shoots, because of what the nut is called bloody. The plant blooms in June - July, while its white flowers, consisting of four small petals, remain open for only a few hours, and by the autumn from 5 to 12 fruits appear on the plants. Each fruit contains one seed within itself, which remains viable for many years, so the seed can germinate in 1–2 years or in 10–12 years. The leaves of water chestnut are similar to birch foliage, and are located on the stem in the form of rosettes on the legs of different lengths. In the summer, the floating rogulnik has a bright green color of foliage, and by the fall it acquires a beautiful yellow-orange shade.
The process of reproduction in natural conditions
Fruits spread over, and so is the reproduction of the scooper. In addition, the propagation of seeds is facilitated by animals that come to drink — fruits with horns-like appendages attach to their wool and enter new territories.
The stem of the plant is attached to the bottom of the reservoir, and when the water level rises, the plant comes off the ground and floats until it attaches to a new place. In late autumn, chilim stalks rot, and dark brown fruits fall to the bottom, where they germinate over time, attach to the bottom and form a new plant.
Reproduction at home
Water chestnut planting It is necessary to make a pond with fertile soil, in this case, the seeds are simply thrown to the bottom. If the reservoir is missing or the soil in it is not suitable, then you can grow a nut in special containers, which then need to be flooded. It is possible to sprout a nut at home, for this winter, the seeds of the croaker are put in a jar of water, and in spring it will sprout. To grow a nut can at a minimum temperature of +25 degrees. As soon as the plant has surface leaves, it can be transplanted into the reservoir, while if the temperature is not high enough and the reservoir is artificial, then it must be heated.
Subsequent transplanting of a water nut is possible in the case when the prepared water body is not deep enough. Plants are attached to the bottom and quite easily and painlessly survive the movement.
Use in traditional medicine
On the territory of Russia, the medicinal qualities of the bloody nut are little known, but in Tibetan and Chinese medicine the treatment of practically no disease can do without this plant.
In folk medicine, water chestnut is used as:
- fortifying agent.
Настойку из чилима можно применять для лечения кожных воспалений, угревой сыпи, а также для очистки кровеносных сосудов. Для приготовления настоя необходимо 10 плодов залить 200 граммами водки и настаивать в течение 10 дней. Употребляют готовый настой по столовой ложке три раза в день.
If you have a sore throat, you need to prepare a mixture of fresh fruit juice and water at the rate of 100 grams of juice per liter of water and gargle before relief. Fresh fruits can also be used to lubricate herpes or insect bites.
Consumption of water chestnuts in food
In addition to the decorative properties, the plant has useful qualities. Fruits, leaves, stems and even flowers contain:
- nitrogen compounds
Among the minerals worth mentioning calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, iron, magnesium and manganese.
In ancient times, it was used for cooking, as well as in traditional medicine. To date, flour is made from the fruits of a roguelnik in India and baked cakes, which, in taste, resemble ordinary wheat bread. In addition, fruits are added to soups. or with a lot of spices consumed in boiled or canned form. On the territory of modern Russia up to the 19–20th centuries. nuts were consumed raw, boiled and fried, and they were baked and ground into flour. Roasted nuts resemble roasted chestnuts to taste, which is probably why Chilim is popularly called water chestnut.
Culinary recipes with chilim
Chilim stewed with celery
About 200 grams of peeled chilim fruits are poured with 50 grams of beef broth and pre-sliced and sauteed celery is added - about 25 grams. The resulting mixture is extinguished in a closed container over low heat for 40 minutes. The mixture is poured 50 grams of tomato sauce and heated to 5 minutes. This chilim is served as a side dish or as a separate dish.
Chilim stewed with apples
Purified chilim, about 100 grams, pour boiling water and boil until cooked. Add 15 grams of butter, two tablespoons of sugar and two to three apples, cut into large segments. Stew the dish until the apples are ready. You can add vanilla or cinnamon to taste. Served as a dessert.
Chili mashed potatoes
200 grams of peeled fruit add the same amount of milk and boil for 30–40 minutes until cooked. After the mixture is ground with 15 grams of butter, a teaspoon of sugar and salt to taste. The finished mashed potatoes are very similar to mashed potatoes and are used as a garnish for meat and fish dishes.
Until 2008 water slider was included in the Red Book of the RSFSR, however, after the population of the plant increased and now the rodent is protected by only a few regions of Russia. In the Altai region, for example, they produce souvenirs from a water nut.
Planting and care
Chilim can live in almost any reservoir, although it will not be reproduced everywhere. The most suitable is standing, well-heated fresh water. To populate a reservoir, it is sent to a non-freezing pond — they are simply thrown if there is a sufficiently large layer of fertile soil, or placed in a container filled with silt and planted first in the most warmed place, and then to a great depth.
Like other plants floating on the surface, chilim has an important advantage - the absence of roots, which allows you to safely move it from one place to another, tying "loads" in the form of a small stone. In order to be more likely to preserve a water chestnut by next year, it is recommended to keep several ripe fruits in a jar of water in the refrigerator.
Chilim is not like other plants for the pond, which makes it a highlight of the reservoir. And the interesting shape of the rosette of leaves, and the outlandish fruit makes it look like an exotic culture, although for our locality it is not at all new. Its role as a cleaner of standing water is also important, since it is not inferior to water hyacinth in the release of water from nitrates. A strongly branched rhizome provides shelter and shelter for fry and defenseless amphibians.
In addition, the white seed, located inside the "horned" pitted fruit is quite tasty. Earlier in Russia, these nuts were often found on the markets, and in India, China, Japan, Sri Lanka and southern Africa, they are now bred on purpose. You can eat seeds raw, boiled or baked, canned, and also make flour and even bread. It is usually used immediately after removing the shell, because after 2-3 days after cleaning at home, it almost loses its taste. Many indications exist for medicinal use.
History and geography
Latin name Chilima appeared for a reason. The Romans used an insidious weapon calcitrapa, a "heel trap" against enemy cavalry. These were small iron balls with four conical spikes, no matter how such a ball lay, one spike always protruded upwards. They were scattered along the bottom of the river at fords and ferries. The external similarity of chilim nuts and "heel traps" was so great that the word trapa became the name of the plant.
Chilim swimming is not at all an orphan and is not the only species in its family. In Primorye, Japan and China, its other species are known - Chilim vyemchatolistny (Trapa incisa), Chilim Japanese (Trapa japonica), Chilim Manchurian (Trapa manshurica), Chilim Maksimovic (Trapa maximowiczii).
And throughout Northern Eurasia, from the British Isles to the south of Western Siberia, two other “brothers” —the Russian Chilim (Trapa rossica) and the Siberian Chilim — Trapa sibirica are found near the water nut.
In order to more reliably retain the habitat, water-nuts go to trick - every spring (or, like in the tropics, every wet season), not all seeds germinate, but only a part of them. And if, all of a sudden, the plants will not be able to produce seeds this season, the population will not disappear anyway - the next year another will sprout.
Interesting is the process of spreading the fruits of the water nut from the reservoir to the reservoir. Mature fruits are almost unable to be carried by water - they are too heavy and instantly sink. You can not rely on the ingestion of birds or fish - the fruits are too large. Instead of this, various stitches on the “horns” have special bristles and notches, which greatly contribute to the fact that the fruit is firmly attached ... to the wool.
Indeed, the main distributors of water nuts are large ungulates that enter the water to a watering place or simply for “bathing”. However, both in the steppe and in the forest zones of Eurasia, the number of ungulates during human domination has decreased dramatically, which was one of the reasons for the reduction of the water chestnut habitat. Meanwhile, at the end of the 19th century, in the Ryazan region, the fruits of the Chilim were an important source of income in the villages of the Oka. They were eaten raw, added to flour and delivered to fairs by carts. And in southern Siberia, they often completely replaced the grain in flour.
What is it - a floating rogulnik?
This annual plant with a thin, long stem creeping at the base is held in the soil by a brownish branched root.
On stalk, reaching 3-5 meters in length, have underwater leaves - linear, opposite - and those that float on the surface of the water, collected in the outlet.
Sheet Chilim has a rhombus shape with teeth on the edge. Its stalks have cavities filled with air, due to which the socket and keeps on the water. In summer the green leaves of Trapa natans turn orange or red in autumn.
Bloom water chestnuts occur in July. He can please the eye with pink or white single flowers with four petals with a diameter of 0.8-1 cm, which are located in the axils of the upper leaves.
Fruit - nuts, large and heavy, ripen by mid-autumn. They represent an intricate shape of dark-brown bone, on which the outgrowths differ, in their shape resembling horns. As a rule, there are four of them. The content of the seed is a white seed, quite tasty and nutritious.
To keep ripened nuts afloat, the plant increases the capacity of air petioles. If the nut was not found and torn, then after the decomposition of the leaves and the stem in autumn water, it sinks to the bottom and firmly fixed on the bottom soil with the help of its horns.
How does trapa natans grow in nature and where is it used?
A nut that has fallen to the bottom awakens in spring and germinates. The formed cotyledon develops into a stem with a root, which is fixed on the bottom soil.
When the water level of the reservoir rises in the spring, the root can detach from the bottom, and the plant will be in a floating position until it touches the ground again. As soon as this happens, the plant will finally take root at the bottom.
Chilim expands its presence in different lakes, ponds and streams, often with the help of animals coming to drink water in the reservoir where this plant grows. The nut, with its outgrowths, is attached to the animal's fur and is moved in this way to another lake or river.
The preferred habitat of water chestnut are small, well-warmed by the sun reservoirs with slowly flowing or stagnant water. One plant can give up to 10-15 nuts. The latter are greatly appreciated for their nutritional and medicinal properties, they are eaten. AT
Russia this plant in former times was quite common in nature, its fruits were sold on the markets.
In Japan, China, some African countries, and also in Sri Lanka, a floating rodent is grown artificially for food purposes.
We grow chilim in home water
Trapa natans horned walnut is suitable for landing in a large freshwater aquarium. The most suitable place for it is there - at the side walls or in the background of the tank. Propagated chilim seeds.
If you became the owner of a water nut, for example, you found it in a lake, then you can try to grow this plant in a domestic pond. Do it better in the spring in accordance with the biorhythm of the plant. In order for the rogger to germinate, it is necessary to create conditions optimal for it:
- in a small container with sludge, pour some water and put a nut there,
- we support t of water and air indoors within + 23- + 25 ° С,
- provide bright, diffused lighting.
After completing all of the above, we are waiting for the germination of the fruit of the scoop for three weeks.
With a successful sprouting of a chilim, a sprout first appears, and then everything happens as in nature. When your plant forms the first floating leaflets, it should be planted in a previously prepared pot with a strictly defined composition of the soil, which includes sand, oily clay, silt.
After that, put a pot with a seedling Trapa natans in the aquarium, providing the upper diffuse lighting. If you do not comply with these subtleties, the result will be sad: you will get a stunted, non-viable plant. If you have fulfilled all the requirements of proper planting, a month has passed, and the nut did not find signs of life, it means that it was initially unsuitable for germination.
In an aquarium where Chilim grows, the temperature indicators of the water should vary between 18-25 ° C. He, like nature, loves good diffused lighting throughout the day.
It does not matter for the scoop to pollute the aquarium water and the soil of the reservoir, therefore, a quarter of the water should be changed systematically.
What is useful nut in traditional medicine?
It has long been observed that Chilim possesses:
- antiseptic and antibacterial,
- antiviral, antitumor and other healing properties.
Without subjecting the fetus to heat treatment, it is also used in the treatment of renal diseases, disorders of male sexual function and dyspepsia.
For the prevention of respiratory infections and as a fortifying agent, one or two of the fruits of the rodent should be eaten three times a day or 1-2 tablespoons of the infusion from its green part - leaves, flowers and stems should be consumed. From the problems with vision consume fresh juice of the plant. Juice of green Chilim is also effective when applied externally:
- gargling to relieve inflammation,
- smearing insect bites.
As you can see, such a useful plant is worthy to try to dissolve it in a home pond.