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Herbarium specimen. Copyright CSIRO

Centella asiatica

Family

Apiaceae

Scientific Name

Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.

Urban, I. in Martius, C.F.P. von (1879) Flora Brasiliensis 11(1): 287, t. 78, fig. 1.

Common name

Gotu Kola; Pennywort

Stem

Stems creep over the soil surface and produce roots at the nodes.

Leaves

Petiole 100-150 mm long, base winged and partly sheathing the stem. Leaf blades 30-50 mm diam., leaf blade underside clothed in very fine, web-like hairs. Veins 5-6, radiating from the base.

Flowers

Inflorescence umbellate with 1-4-6 flowers in each umbel. Peduncle 8-12 mm long. Flowers about 3 mm diam. Calyx absent. Petals ephemeral, obovate to orbicular, 0.8-1 mm diam. Ovary bilobed, laterally compressed, about 2 x 2.5 mm, mainly red except for two green glands at the apex. Styles 2. Stigmas 2.

Fruit

Fruits 3-4 x 4 mm, laterally compressed and consisting of two mericarps. Seeds about 3-4 x 2 mm, surface ornamented with longitudinal lines. Embryo minute.

Seedlings

Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ, and widespread in southern Australia. Grows mainly in damp places in swamps and various types of forest from 0-1000 m altitude.

Natural History & Notes

A weed of disturbed moist places.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

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Synonyms

Hydrocotyle asiatica L., Species Plantarum 1: 234(1753), Type: Habitat in India.

RFK Code

4019