Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Herbarium specimen. © CSIRO

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

Common name

Gotu Kola; Pennywort


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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