The plant is closely related to Limnophila chinensis, and is seen as no more than a form of that species in some treatments[
Ambulia aromatica Lam.
Limnophila aromaticoides Yang. & Yen.
Limnophila chinensis aromatica (Lam.) T.Yamazaki.
Limnophila gratissima Blume
Limnophila punctata Blume
Limnophila punctata subracemosa Benth.
Common Name: Swamp Leaf
Swamp leaf is a variable, fleshy, annual to perennial herb growing 30 - 100cm tall[
The plant is occasionally cultivated and harvested from the wild for its edible leafy stems. It is often sold in local markets. With its attractive flowers, the plant can be grown as an ornamental in gardens[
This species has a broad distribution, from India, Japan and the Korean Peninsula south to the Philippines and Indonesia, it is able to exploit anthropogenic habitats such as rice fields and is unlikely to be threatened with extinction in the short term. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, to Australia and Micronesia.
Around reservoirs and other moist places at low elevations in southern China[
]. Shallow ponds or marshy localities, at elevations from sea-level to 1,000 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Plants are polymorphic, varying in shape and habit depending on the degree of immersion in water[
The leafy stems can be eaten raw or cooked as a side dish with rice[
]. They have a distinctive aroma and flavour and are an essential ingredient of several sweet and sour Vietnamese recipes[
The leaves are antispasmodic, appetizer, disinfectant, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge and galactagogue[
]. A decoction is given in the treatment of fevers, gravel in the kidneys, haematuria, to promote the appetite, and to clear mucus from the bronchial tubes[
Eating the plant is thought to calm the stomach after eating a durian (Durio zibethinus)[
The sap of the leaves is used to clean wounds and sores on the legs[
]. It is considered to be a rather strong treatment[
The plant contains 0.13% essential oil, the terpenes 'DELTA'-limonene and 'DELTA'-perillaldehyde being important constituents[
The bactericidal activities of this essential oil against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus were similar to those of a streptomycin and chloramphenicol reference. The activities of the essential oil against Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans and Rhizopus oryzae, however, were more marked than those of griseofulvin as reference[
Seed - should be kept dry in storage[
]. Surface sow on moist sand at 25c and cover with glass. Keep moist in a sunny position, prick seedlings out into a sand/loam mix and, once established, gradually raise the water level[
Cuttings. The stems often form basal roots, and these can be used as propagation material[
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