Sorting Trapa names

Species on this page ( A = names approved by most authorities, s = approved as synonyms) :



Trapa bicornis Osbeck

SYNONYM(S) : Trapa bicornuta L.

CHINESE : Wu ling.

ENGLISH : Asian water chestnut, Horn chestnut, Horn-nut.

FRENCH : Châtaigne d'eau à deux cornes, Châtaigne d'eau à fruit noir.

GERMAN : Chinesische Wassernuß.

RUSSIAN : Vodianoi orekh dvurogii.

SPANISH : Castaña de agua.

Trapa bicornis Osbeck var. bicornis

Most names under the species (above) would apply to this variety.

HINDI : Ikiliya  (India)  <- INVESTIGATE - this is Sinhalese for T. bispinosa.

RUSSIAN : Vodianoi orekh dvurogii.

THAI : Kra chap khao laem.

Trapa bicornis Osbeck var. bispinosa (Roxb.) Nakano -> Trapa natans L. var. bispinosa (Roxb.) Makino

Trapa bicornis Osbeck var. cochinchinensis (Lour.) Glück ex Steenis

SYNONYM(S) : Trapa cochinchinensis Lour.

FRENCH : Châtaigne d'eau indochinoise, Châtaigne d'eau du Cochin.

THAI : Kra chap khao thu.

Trapa bispinosa Roxb. var. culta Hu

CHINESE : Shui ci ling.

ENGLISH : Large-spined singhara nut.

Trapa bispinosa Roxb. var. incisa Franch. & Sav. -> Trapa natans L. var. incisa Makino

Trapa incisa Siebold & Zucc. -> Trapa natans L. var. incisa Makino

Trapa japonica Flerov

SYNONYM(S) : Trapa korshinskyi V. N. Vassil., Trapa litwinowii V. N. Vassil.

CHINESE : Qiu jiao ling (as T. japonica), Wu guan ling (as T. korshinskyi), Guan ling (as T. litwinowii).


 RUSSIAN :   Водяной орех японский   Vodianoi orekh  iaponskii.


See note 3 below.

Trapa korshinskyi V. N. Vassil.

CHINESE : Wu guan ling

Trapa litwinowii V. N. Vassil.

CHINESE : Guan ling

Trapa maximowiczii Korsh.

CHINESE : Xiao guo ling, Xi guo ye ling.

KOREAN : Awaiting for feedback.

 RUSSIAN :   Водяной орех Максимовича  Vodianoi orekh Maksimovicha.

Trapa natans L.

SYNONYM(S) : Trapa quadricornis Stokes, Trapa quadrispinosa Roxb.

CHINESE : Ci ling, Ou ling, Si jiao ling (as T. quadrispinosa), Ye ling.

DANISH : Hornnød, Vandkastanje.

DUTCH : Waternoot, Waterkastanje.

ENGLISH : Bull nut (USA), European water chestnut, Jesuit's nut, Jesuits' nut, Ling nut, Water nut, Water caltrop, Water chestnut.

FINNISH : Vesipähkinä.

FRENCH : Châtaigne d'eau, Châtaigne d'eau à quatre cornes (as T. quadrispinosa), Châtaigne d'eau tetracorne (as T. quadrispinosa), Châtaigne d'eau européenne, Cornelle, Corniche (Canada), Cornue, Marron d'eau, Mâcre commune, Noix aquatique, Trape, Trape d'eau (Canada),

GERMAN :  Wassernuß, Wasserkastanie.

HUNGARIAN : Sulyom. Sulyomfélék. <- check meaning of "félék".

ITALIAN : Castagna d'acqua, Trapa, Tribolo acquatico.

JAPANESE : Oni bishi, Ko oni bishi.

NORWEGIAN : Vassnøtt.

POLISH : Kotewka , Orzech wodny.

PORTUGUESE : Castanha d'água.

RUSSIAN : Orech vodianoi, Vodianoi orekh plavaiushchii.

SPANISH : Abrojo de agua, Castaña de agua.

SWEDISH : Sjönöt.

THAI : Kra chom, Ma ngaeng.

UNIDENTIFIED : Cornaci (Moldavie ?).

Trapa natans L. var. bispinosa (Roxb.) Makino

SYNONYM(S) : Trapa bispinosa Roxb., Trapa bicornis Osbeck var. bispinosa (Roxb.) Nakano

BENGALI : Paniphal.

CHINESE : Ling (as T. bispinosa), Ling jiao.

ENGLISH : Singhara nut.

FRENCH : Châtaigne d'eau à deux cornes, Châtaigne d'eau bicorne.

GERMAN : Singharanuß .

HINDI : Singhara.

JAPANESE : Hishi, Tou bishi.

NEPALESE : Singadaa (Singad - as T. bispinosa).

RUSSIAN : Vodianoi orekh dvukhkoliuchkovyi.

SINHALESE : Ikiliya, Singhara.

Trapa natans L. var. incisa Makino

SYNONYM(S) : Trapa bispinosa Roxb. var. incisa Franch. & Sav., Trapa incisa Siebold & Zucc.

CHINESE : Si jiao ke ye ling, Ye ling.

ENGLISH : Tinghara nut.

JAPANESE : Hime bishi.

THAI : Kra chap.

RUSSIAN :  Водяной орех выемчатолистный    Vodianoi orekh vyemchatolistnyi.

Trapa natans L. var. natans

Most names under the species (above) would apply to this variety.

Trapa natans L. var. rubeola Maxim. f. viridis Sugimoto

JAPANESE : Oni bishi.





1. Re. : Trapa japonica Flerov

A Global Compendium of Weeds places both Trapa korshinskyi V. N. Vassil. & Trapa litwinowii V. N. Vassil. as synonyms. The Chinese descriptions and names however differ. We have placed the 3 species together as well as separately for a doubt remains as to the synonymy.


2. BENGALI : Paniphal = Water chestnut (botanical name uncertain) ... but ...

HINDI : Paniphal = Arrowroot.

3. Generally there is a lot of confusion throughout the world about the vegetable called "water chestnut". The first confusion is between the European Trapa and the Chinese Eleocharis. Then people get lost within each of those genera because common names have never been properly matched to stabilised botanical names. In the past there was hardly any stabilised specific name. Today there are very clever taxonomists in the west as well as in the east but unfortunately they have few clues about foreign languages. We have tried to start redressing the situation by highlighting (in bold) the most appropriate name for each language when we could work it out.



Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 - 2020, Sorting Trapa Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database - A Work in Progress. Institute for Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. < > (2005).


General Bibliography


Complementary / Specific


EURODICAUTOM, On-line Technical Dictionary in 12 languages provided by the European Commission < >.

Fritsch. R. 2001, in Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops. < >.

Hanelt Peter et al. , 2001, Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Hoerticultural Crops, Vol. xx. Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (Editors), First English Edition, Springer.

IPK Gatersleben, 2002, Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops. < >.

IPNI, 2003, International Plant Name Index. Online Database. < >.

Mabberley D.J. 1997, The Plant-Book : a Portable Dictionary of the Vascular Plants, 2d Edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Randall Rod, 2002, A Global Compendium of Weeds. Department of Agriculture of Western Australia & Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project (HEAR). < >.

USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database] National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Available: (27 January 2004).

Wang Zongxun et al. 1996, A New Latin, Chinese, English Botanical Nomenclature. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany. Aviation Industry Publisher, Beijing.

Wiersema J. H. & León B. 1999, World Economic Plants : a Standard Reference. CRC Press LLC.

Xie Zongwa & Yu Youqin (Editors), 1996, Materia Medica, Chinese Terminology, Vol. 1, Renminweisheng Publishing House Beijing, China. (Latin with authority names and Chinese-simplified, text in Chinese).


Contributors to this page (Personal communication) : In progress.


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Date created: 23 / 01 / 2004
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Last modified: 09 / 10 / 2005
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