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Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene

Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene

Family

Verbenaceae

Synonyms

Verbena nodiflora L., Phyla chinensis Lour., Lippia nodiflora (L.) Michx.

Vernacular Names

English

Lippia, frog fruit, cape weed.

Philippines

Busbusi (Iloko), chacha­han (Tagalog), sirik puyo (Bisaya).

Cambodia

Man am ca dam.

Thailand

Yaa klet plaa (Central).

Vietnam

D[aa]y l[uws]c, s[af]i d[aas]t gi[ar].

Geographical Distributions

Phyla nodi­flora is found in tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world.

Description

Phyla nodi­flora is a perennial creeping herb, with prostrate stems, and mostly rooting at the nodes that can grow up to (10-)30-90 cm tall. The branches are slender, procumbent or ascend­ing, with densely appressed strigillose, to hairy or nearly hairless.

The leaves are decussate, variable, spathu­late to obovate or elliptical, measure 1-7 cm x 0.6-2.5 cm, long-or short-wedge-shaped at base, rounded or ob­tuse at apex, with basally entire margin, sharply serrate above the middle, variably strigillose hairy to hairless on both surfaces and fleshy. The petiole is 2-8 mm long or absent, as well as the stipules.

The inflorescence is an axil­lary. At first, it is nearly spherical-head-like but later becoming cylindrical and often elongated with age. It measures 1-2.5 cm x 0.5-1 cm long when mature and densely many-flowered. The peduncle is 1-11.5 cm long and bracteolate.The flowers are sessile and sub­tended by a bract. The sepal is deeply 2-cleft, up to 2 mm long while the petal is purple or pink to white. The mouth is of­ten yellow while the throat is pink-brown. The tube is slightly exserted from the sepal and 4-lobed. The lobes are subequal where the lower lobe is larger and bifid. There are 4 stamens, which are didynamous, included or slightly exserted. The ovary is superior, 2-locular, and with 1 ovule per locule. The stig­ma is capitate.

The fruit is a drupe, 1.5-2 mm long, dry, spherical to oblong and flattened. At maturity, it is divided in­to 2 planoconvex pyrenes.

Ecology / Cultivation

Phyla nodiflora is found in a wide range of soils but prefers well-drained sandy soils and is of­ten encountered in bordering waterways and near the sea. It can be a common weed in open, waste places at low and medium altitudes.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Phyla_nodiflora_L_Greene

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.

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