This species has often been misidentified as Zornia diphylla[
]. This and other Zornia species were long confused with Zornia diphylla (L.) Pers. However, Dandy & Milne-Redhead in Kew Bull. 17: 73 - 74 (1963) concluded that the name Zornia diphylla must be restricted to the plant hitherto known as Zornia conjugata (Willd.) Sm., which, far from being a pantropical weed, seems to be unknown outside its natural area of distribution, namely Sri Lanka and southern India[
Zornia diphylla auct.
Zornia diphylla bernardinensis Chodat & Hassl.
Zornia diphylla gracilis (DC.) Benth.
Zornia diphylla pubescens (Kunth) Benth.
Zornia gracilis DC.
Zornia pubescens Kunth
Zornia surinamensis Miq.
Common Name: Tencilla
Zornia latifolia is a prostrate to erect, much-branched herbaceous perennial plant growing from a tap-root; the stems can be 20 - 80cm long[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas
Open fields and grassy areas[
Zornia latifolia plant of the subtropical to tropical zones, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 29°c, but can tolerate 13 - 34°c[
]. Growth ceases at temperatures lower than -13°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -1°c, but the young growth can be severely damaged at that same temperature[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,200 - 1,800mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 2,000mm[
]. Plants can tolerate a dry season of 4 - 6 months[
Requires a sunny position. Grows best in a well-drained medium to heavy soil of moderate fertility, tolerating soils of low fertility[
]. The plant is well adapted to the free-draining, acid and low-fertility, Aluminium-toxic oxisols of the South American savannahs[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 4.5 - 6, tolerating 4 - 7[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
The plant has often been cultivated and has become established in several countries outside its native range[
Dry matter yields of 2.4 - 2.8 tonnes per hectare in 12 weeks have been recorded; 0.6 - 4.9 tonnes when grown in association with the grasses Brachiaria decumbens and/or Andropogon gayanus[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
A juice made from the whole plant is drunk in order to calm inflamed intestines[
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