Ceratophyllum (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Ceratophyllum L.

Family: Ceratophyllaceae

Major species and synonyms

Vernacular names

  • Hornwort (En)
  • Indonesia: kancil (Indonesian), ganggang (Javanese), ganggeng (Sundanese)
  • Cambodia: sara:y 'ânndaèt, sara:y kântuy chhkaè
  • Thailand: sarai-khwai (Ayutthaya), sarai-phungchado, sarai-hangma (Bangkok)
  • Vietnam: rong duôi chó.


Cosmopolitan; found throughout South-East Asia. C. demersum is generally more common than C. submersum. The former is not yet recorded from Peninsular Malaysia, the latter only rarely.


Suitable for improving the water quality of fish ponds and to attract harmful insects in rice fields so these can be destroyed. Ceratophyllum may be used to oxygenate waste water, but only after the organic wastes have been decomposed to soluble inorganic matter.


  • Monoecious, submerged, rootless freshwater plants.
  • Leaves in whorls of 6-10, forked 2-4 times, with serrate segments.
  • Flowers axillary, solitary, small.
  • Fruit oblong, compressed, with 1 apical and 2 basal spines (C. demersum) or with a single apical spine (C. submersum).

Flowers are submerged and pollination takes place under water. Plants often remain vegetative, but flower frequently in shallow water near Jakarta. It occurs in stagnant pools, slow running streams, shallow lakes, often gregarious. In Malesia, it ascends to over 1500 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • de Wit, H.C.D., 1965. Ceratophyllum submersum L. Het Aquarium 35: 245-248.
  • Flora Malesiana (various editors), 1950-. Series 1. Volume 1, 4-. Kluwer, Dordrecht & Flora Malesiana Foundation, Leiden, the Netherlands.
  • Heyne, K., 1950. De nuttige planten van Indonesië [The useful plants of Indonesia]. 3rd Edition. 2 volumes. W. van Hoeve, the Hague, the Netherlands/Bandung, Indonesia. 261, 1450 pp.
  • National Academy of Sciences, 1976. Making aquatic weeds useful: some perspectives for developing countries. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., United States. 174 pp.
  • Smitinand, T., 1980. Thai plant names. Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand. 379 pp.


  • M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen