Ludwigia octovalvis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P.H. Raven

Protologue: Kew Bull. 15: 476 (1962).


Jussiaea suffruticosa L. (1753), Jussiaea pubescens L. (1762), Jussiaea angustifolia Lamk (1789).

Vernacular names

  • Willow herb, primrose willow (En)
  • Indonesia: cacabean (Sundanese), salah nyowo (Javanese), lakum air (Malay)
  • Malaysia: buyang samalam, lakom ayer, pujang malam (Peninsular)
  • Philippines: tayilakton (Tagalog), talangkau (Iloko), pachar pachar (Sulu)
  • Thailand: thian nam (peninsular), yaa raknaa (northern)
  • Vietnam: muương dất.


Pantropical, between 32North and 30South.


In Java, the plant is sometimes used against ulcerations of the nose. In India and Peninsular Malaysia, the mucilaginous leaves are used for poulticing many complaints, including headache, orchitis and swollen glands. They are drunk in decoction for diarrhoea, nervous diseases and as a carminative and vermifuge. In Nigeria, the plant is pulped and boiled and taken as a vermifuge and laxative. It is considered to have analgesic properties, and together with other herbs, is given for rheumatic pains.


A perennial, robust, much branched herb, sometimes woody at base, 2(-4) m tall, lower part of stem sometimes with aerenchyme, pseudo-aerophores present in inundated conditions, normally with appressed or spreading hairs; leaves narrowly lanceolate to narrowly ovate, 2-14 cm × 0.5-4 cm, base narrowly cuneate, apex attenuate, veins 11-20 pairs, old leaves reddish, petiole up to 1 cm long, bracteoles reduced or 1 mm long; sepals 4, ovate or lanceolate, 6-15 mm long, petals broadly obovate or cuneate, slightly emarginate, 17 mm × 2-17 mm, yellow, stamens 8, filaments 1-4 mm long, pollen in tetrads, style 1.5-3.5 mm long; capsule 1.7-4.5 cm × 0.2-0.8 cm, terete, thin-walled, pale brown, 8 darker ribs, irregularly splitting, pedicel up to 10 mm long; seeds pluriseriate in each cell, free, rounded, raphe as long as the seed. L. octovalvis occurs in humid localities, damp grasslands, rice fields, along ditches, in swamps, pools, river beds, on floating islands in lakes and in coconut plantations, from sea-level up to 1500 m altitude. Two subspecies are distinguished, subsp. octovalvis and subsp. sessiliflora (Micheli) P.H. Raven.

Selected sources

74, 134,

  • 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.

181, 574, 708, 709, 788, 1099.


Isa Ipor