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Limnophila aromatica (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Limnophila aromatica (Lamk) Merr.

Protologue: Interpr. Herb. amboin.: 466 (1917).


  • Gratiola aromatica (Lamk) Pers. (1805),
  • Limnophila punctata Blume (1826),
  • Limnophila gratissima Blume (1826).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kehkehan (Sundanese), daun kardemom, selaseh ayer kecil (Ambonese)
  • Malaysia: beremi, kerak-kerak
  • Philippines: angangi (Bontok)
  • Papua New Guinea: poikehkeh (Wapi), ginibok (Keepaukee)
  • Thailand: phak khayaeng (central), phak phaa (northern)
  • Vietnam: rau ng[oom].


From India and Sri Lanka to Indo-China, southern China, Japan, Taiwan, throughout South-East Asia and northern Australia.


In Indonesia and Peninsular Malaysia, the sap of the leaves is used to clean wounds, and a decoction of the leaves is given in fevers.


  • A variable, fleshy, annual to perennial herb, 30–-100 cm tall, stems simple or shortly branched from the base, glabrous to minutely glandular.
  • Leaves decussate or in whorls of 3, ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, 10–-55 mm × 3-–15 mm, margins crenate to serrate-dentate, glabrous to densely and minutely glandular, pinnately veined, sessile.
  • Flowers solitary and axillary, or a few to many-flowered, terminal or axillary raceme, up to 15 cm long, pedicel 5–20 mm long, bracteoles 2, 1.5-–2 mm long, calyx 4.5–-7 mm long, hairy, striate at maturity, corolla 10.5–-13.5 mm long, pale pink, outside finely glandular, inside densely villous, posterior lobe emarginate, posterior stamens 2.5 mm long, villous, anterior stamens 4 mm long, glabrous
  • Capsule broadly ellipsoid, compressed, 5-6 mm long, brown.

L. aromatica grows in shallow ponds or marshy localities, from sea-level up to 1000 m altitude. It is closely related to L. chinensis (Osbeck) Merr., and some authors consider L. aromatica as a subspecies of it.

Selected sources

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240, Vol. 2 (I-Z) pp. 1241-2444.

407, 747, 810, 837.


G.H. Schmelzer