Houttuynia cordata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Houttuynia cordata Thunberg

Family: Saururaceae

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: jukut hanyir
  • Cambodia: chii yaab kaa
  • Laos: kh'aaw th'oong
  • Thailand: phlu-kae (central), phakkhaothong
  • Vietnam: diếp cá, giấp cá, lá giấp.


From India to Indo-China, China, Taiwan and Japan. Introduced in Malesia, but rare. Occasionally cultivated, particularly in Thailand and Indo-China.


Crushed leaves have a fish-like fetid odour and are used in salads or as a garnish for several dishes. Dried leaves are used as a drug in China, Japan and Vietnam. In Europe it is an ornamental plant in garden ponds.


  • Perennial, erect or ascending herb up to 90 cm tall with creeping rhizome.
  • Leaf-blade broadly ovate with cordate base, 3-8.5 cm × 2.5-6.5 cm, palminervous, strongly aromatic; petiole 1-4 cm long.

In semi-shaded, marshy localities, preferably in temperate conditions. It can become a troublesome weed.

Selected sources

7, 49, 51, 91.