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Useful Tropical Plants

Phyla scaberrima

(Juss. ex Pers.) Moldenke.

Verbenaceae

+ Synonyms

Lippia asperifolia Rchb.

Lippia dulcis Trevir.

Phyla dulcis (Trevir.) Moldenke

Zappania scaberrima Juss. ex Pers.

Common Name: Aztec Sweet Herb

Phyla scaberrima
Flowering stem
Photograph by: Dick Culbert
Creative Commons License
Phyla scaberrima Phyla scaberrima

General Information

Aztec sweet herb is a strongly-scented, erect or decumbent perennial plant, rarely growing to 40cm tall with stems that often root at the lower nodes[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
The plant is sometimes cultivated for its sweet-tasting leaves, it is also said to be much used in domestic medicine in Central America[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

Northern S. America - Venezuela and Colombia, through Central America to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Habitat

Damp thickets and waste ground, wooded river banks, borders of ponds, or in open clearings and pastures, from sea level to elevations of 1,800 metres[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *
HabitPerennial
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Succeeds in full sun in any moderately fertile, well-drained soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

The leaves have an aromatic, intensely sweet flavour[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. They can be added to salads, or used as a flavouring[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Often, they are just chewed by people who enjoy their intense sweetness[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The leaves can also be used as a sweetener in teas and other beverages[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

The liquorice-flavoured roots are chewed[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

The dried leaves, which contain essential oils, are demulcent and expectorant[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. They are used in the treatment of bronchial ailments, particularly whooping cough[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Other Uses

An essential oil obtained from the plant contains the very sweet sesquiterpenoid hernandulcin, but the potential use for sweetening purposes is limited, because the main constituent of the oil is the toxic compound camphor[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cuttings of half-ripe wood.
Basal or nodal cuttings of softwood
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-04-21. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Phyla+scaberrima>

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