Aeschynomene aquatica Roxb. ex Steud.
Aeschynomene lagenaria Lour.
Aeschynomene surattensis Wight & Arn.
Aeschynomene trachyloba Miq.
Hedysarum lagenarium (Lour.) Roxb.
Common Name: Sola Plant
Plant growing in native habitat
Photograph by: IRRI Photos
Aeschynomene aspera is a shrub growing about 2 metres tall[
This species is one of the main sources of ambatch wood. The pithy wood from the stems is very light and is used to make art paper products, artificial flowers, and as a cork substitute for making a range of articles[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, through Malaysia to the Philippines.
Swampy places in Nepal to elevations of 1,300 metres[
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This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The pith from the stems is very light. Known as ambatch wood, it weighs around 110 - 190 kilos per cubic metre and is one of the lightest known woods. It can be used as a cork substitute in various applications and is used in India to make sun helmets, or sola-topis[
]. It is also used to make a range of other items, including art paper products, floats on water, artificial flowers and other decorations to offer to the Gods and Goddesses during festivals[
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