Sagittaria guayanensis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Sagittaria guayanensis Kunth subsp. lappula (D. Don) Bogin

Family: Alismataceae


Lophiocarpus guayanensis (Kunth) Micheli, Sagittaria cordifolia Roxb., S. lappula D. Don.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: keladi air, kelipok padang (Indonesian), enceng (Sundanese)
  • Malaysia: keladi air, kelipok padang (Peninsular).


Tropical Africa and South-East Asia to East Asia (including Taiwan); in the Malesian region in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi.


Ploughed in as a green manure in rice fields. The leaves are sometimes used to feed pigs.


Laticiferous perennial freshwater plant. Leaves floating, in a rosette, ovate with a deeply cordate base; petiole sheathing. Inflorescence a raceme with 2-6 whorls of 2-3 flowers, the lower 1-4 whorls with bisexual flowers, the upper whorls with male ones; flowers 3-merous, with closely appressed sepals; petals white with a yellowish base; carpels many. Fruit an elliptical achene, with a broad, bluntly spiny crest. S. guayanensis often occurs gregariously in ditches and wet rice fields, up to 1000 m altitude. Subsp. lappula is the only one occurring in South-East Asia; subsp. guayanensis is found in tropical America. The plants rapidly reappear as a weed after ploughing and may become troublesome. Manual removal just before flowering is recommended.

Selected sources

27, 51, 150, 174.


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