( in Tamil
) is a small herbaceous annual plant
of the family Mackinlayaceae
or subfamily Mackinlayoideae of family Apiaceae, and is native to India
, Sri Lanka
, northern Australia
, Papua New Guinea
, and other parts of Asia
. It is used as a medicinal herb
in Ayurvedic medicine
, traditional African medicine
, and traditional Chinese medicine
. Botanical synonyms
include Hydrocotyle asiatica
L. and Trisanthus cochinchinensis
The stems are slender, creeping stolons
, green to reddish green in color, interconnecting one plant to another. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves
with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. The leaves are borne on pericladial petioles, around 2 cm. The rootstock consists of rhizomes
, growing vertically down. They are creamish in color and covered with root hairs.
are pinkish to red in color, born in small, rounded bunches (umbels) near the surface of the soil. Each flower is partly enclosed in two green bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are minute in size (less than 3 mm), with 5-6 corolla lobes per flower. Each flower bears five stamens and two styles
. The fruit are densely reticulate, distinguishing it from species of Hydrocotyle which have smooth, ribbed or warty fruit.
The crop matures in three months and the whole plant, including the roots, is harvested manually.
Centella grows along ditches... Read More