Alsine media Vell.
Alsine rotundifolia Stokes
Bufonia rotundifolia Buch.-Ham. ex Steud.
Drymaria adenophora Urb.
Drymaria diandra (Sw.) Macfad.
Drymaria diandra Blume
Drymaria procumbens Rose
Drymaria retusa Wight & Arn.
Drymaria sessilifolia Fiori
Holosteum cordatum L.
Holosteum diandrum Sw.
Holosteum montanum Wight ex Wall.
Loeflingia renifolia Lag.
Stellaria adenophora León
Common Name: Tropical Chickweed
The low mat of growth makes a good ground cover
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Drymaria cordata is a fast-growing, weak-stemmed annual plant with prostrate or creeping, freely-branching stems; It produces a dense mass of vegetation 50cm or more tall and wide[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is cultivated in tropical and subtropical India and in Sri Lanka as a fodder plant and for erosion control, especially in tea plantations[
The plant has been shown to contain alkaloid-like chemicals, and is potentially poisonous to cattle[1093.
Probably originally native to the Neotropics, the plant is naturalized throughout much of the tropics and subtropics.
Grassland, forest margins, roadsides and cultivated areas, often under shade, at mid to higher elevations[
]. The plant appears spontaneously as a weed of cultivation[
|Other Uses Rating
The plant grows best in moist and shaded habitats at low to middle elevations up to 2,000 metres. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil textures including sandy, loam and clay soils, with a pH ranging from 6.1 - 7.8,, and also tolerates seasonal waterlogging of the soil[
Drymaria cordata is a vigorous fast-growing plant that is considered to be one of the most aggressive weeds, invading moist habitats in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is listed as a weed in 31 crops in more than 45 countries within and outside its native distribution range. It produces large amount of seeds, and also spreads vegetatively by rooting from the nodes to produce new plants. It has the potential to harm other plants by smothering them under a solid blanket of leaves[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Used in a refreshing salad[
]. The tender leaves and shoots are chopped and cooked alone or with other vegetables such as amaranth or Bidens and served with a staple such as rice[
The sap is said to be febrifuge and laxative. It has an aromatic pungency leading it to be much used in many countries for treating respiratory chest-ailments, colds and bronchitis[
The dried leaf is smoked like a cigarette for treating chest-complaints and bronchitis[
The plant is diuretic, stomachic and vesicant[
]. An infusion of the leaves or whole plant is used as a treatment for jaundice, colds, biliousness and malaria[
]. The plant is an ingredient of a decoction administered as a cerebral stimulant, especially for children[
The plant is scalded and the steam is used as an eye-fumigation for eye-troubles[
The plant is applied externally to oedemas of the feet and to leprosy; it is used as a poultice on injuries, sores, tumours and yaws eruptions[
]. Topical applications must be carried out with caution since prolonged treatment causes burning of the skin[
The flower, fruit, seed and root have given very weak positive reactions for the presence of haemolytic saponins, and the leaf and stem a negative response[
The plant is commonly found under coffee trees in Ethiopia and East Africa[
It has been tried as a cover under tea in Sri Lanka, but with the non-beneficial results of reduced yield and an inferior appearance of the manufactured tea[
It has been found useful, however, as a ground cover to prevent erosion, especially on steep slopes[
]. It also succeeds in stabilizing coastal dunes[
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