Alisma flavum L.
Damasonium flavum Mill.
Limnocharis emarginata Humb. & Bonpl.
Limnocharis laforesti Duchass.
Limnocharis plumieri Rich.
Common Name: Sawah Lettuce
Sawah lettuce is an evergreen perennial, clump-forming plant producing erect stems 20 - 40cm tall from a short thick erect rhizome[
A popular and highly esteemed vegetable in the tropics, especially in parts of SE Asia, the plant is both gathered from the wild and also sometimes cultivated in rice paddies[
]. It can often be found for sale in local markets[
]. The plant is valued as an ornamental in some countries and is cultivated in botanic gardens or private homes[
Southern S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, north through Central America to Mexico.
In or at the edge of water[
]. Shallow swamps, ditches, pools and wet rice fields, occurring usually in stagnant fresh water[
|Other Uses Rating
|Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Grows best in shallow, neutral to slightly acidic water[
If allowed to grow unchecked, the plant may become a very invasive environmental weed of streams and wetlands. It has become a serious weed in rice fields, irrigation canals and wetlands in South-East Asia[
]. Clumps of the weed provide a congenial breeding site for disease-vectors, including mosquitoes, which encourages the spread of diseases such as Japan fever and dengue fever[
]. Plants are reproduced mainly by seeds - these are dispersed via the production of fruitlets, which are buoyant and carried by water to new localities, dispersing seeds along the way[
]. Fruiting takes place throughout the year, with a single fruit producing about 1,000 seeds and a single plant producing about 1,000 fruits per year[
Leaves, leaf stems, flower stalks and young inflorescences are eaten cooked[
]. They can be steamed like endive or spinach, added to soups or mixed with other vegetables[
]. The young leaves and tops of the plant are boiled or cooked in mixed soups[
]. The vegetable contains relatively high levels of Calcium, Iron and vitamin A, which are nutrients that are frequently insufficient in the diets of women in low-income countries[
The plants are sometimes used for green manure[
Seed - seed must be kept damp or it loses viability[
]. Sow in a constantly damp medium at 20c, cover with silver sand and immerse in 1cm of water once the seedlings have germinated[
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