Azolla fern (Azolla sp.) are aquatic fern plants which are triangular or polygonal in shape and consists of a short, branched, ﬂoating stem and its roots hang down, ﬂoat on the surface of the water, individually or as mats in the water. The Plant diameter ranges from 1-2.5 cm for small species such as Azolla pinnata, to 15 cm or greater than that for Azolla nilotica.
Conditions for growth of azolla fern
Azolla can survive within a pH range of 3.5 to 10, but optimum growth is observed within the range of 4.5
Application of Azolla ferb
Azolla are applied in two ways as green manure and dual crop form. Azolla is usually applied
in rice felds in both ways. As a green manure crop, it is incorporated into the field prior to
rice planting. It can be either grown in the same field before transplanting rice or grown in nursery
beds and then transported and incorporated into the field by puddling. Azolla when incorporated into the soil, decomposes rapidly within 7 to 10 days. It is found that application of azolla in the green from produces better results than in the dry form.
Uses of azolla fern
- Azolla fixes the atmospheric nitrogen and has very high productivity in the right environment.
- Has a high protein content with an herbicide effect and the capacity to decrease Nitogen-fertilizer volatilization.
- Azolla is used as a component of integrated farming as in rice-fish-azolla, rice-duck-azolla, rice-duck-fish-azolla or pig-fish-azolla systems.
- The protein content in azolla is about 19-30% than most green forage crops and aquatic macrophytes therefore, can be used as animal feed.
- Azolla contains essential amino acid lysine and thus azolla can be a valuable protein supplement for many species, including ruminants, poultry, pigs and fish.
Azolla wiki here
Difference between different seed classes here