Hydrolea zeylanica (L.) Vahl

Last updated: 17 June 2015

Scientific Name

Hydrolea zeylanica (L.) Vahl


Beloanthera oppositifolia Hassk., Hydrolea arayatensis Blanco., Hydrolea inermis Lour., Hydrolea javanica Blume., Nama zeylanica L., Steris javana L., Steris aquatica Burm. f., Steris javanica L. [1]

Vernacular Name

Indonesia Gagabusan, sembung ku-uk (Sundanese); gunda (Javanese) [2]
English Sri Lanka hydrolea [3], Ceylon hydrolea, blue water leaf, water olive [4]
China Tian ji ma [3][4]
India Langali (Sanskrit); popti, keriti (Marathi); koliary, langali (Hindi) [4]; isha-langulia, kasschra (Bengali); jal-santha, langali, lunalei [3]
Thailand Po phee (Buri Ram) [2]
Vietnam Th[ur]y l[eej] [2]

Geographical Distributions

Hydrolea zeylanica is widely distributed in Eastern Africa, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, Sulawesi and Northern Australia. [2]

H. zeylanica occurs in permanently or periodically swampy or inundated localities, often in rice fields, also in shallow pools and on river banks, up to 1000 m altitude. It often occurs gregariously, but is a weed of minor importance in the Malaysian region. [2]

Botanical Description

H. zeylanica is member of the family Hydrophyllaceae. It is a perennial herb and often much branched. Its stem is up to 150 cm long. It is creeping and freely rooting in the lower part and with many erect branches. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternately, simple and entire, narrowly lance-shaped, sometimes oblong or elliptical, measuring 1.5-12 cm x 1-2.5 cm, wedge-shaped at base, acute at apex, hairless or slightly hairy and pinnately veined. The petiole is 2-5 mm long. The stipules are absent. [2]

The inflorescence is an axillary raceme or panicle, or flowers solitary. The flowers are bisexual, regular and with 5-merous. The pedicel is 2-10 mm long. The sepal is partite near to the base, 5-7 mm long, usually glandular hairy and persistent. The petal is deeply partite, with whitish tube and lilac-blue segments which are white at base. It is 5-8 mm long. The stamens are free, which are inserted in the petal throat and alternate with the petal lobes. The ovary is superior, 2-celled, with 2 styles, widely divergent and with club-shaped stigmas. [2]

The 4-5 mm long fruit is an ellipsoid capsule, bursting irregularly and many-seeded. The seeds are very small, oblong, longitudinally ribbed and with transverse ridges. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of H. zeylanica [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Hydrolea zeylanica (L.) Vahl [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 April 18; cited 2015 June 17]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2856522
  2. Hydrolea zeylanica (L.) Vahl In: Lemmens RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12 (3): Medicinal and Poisonous Plants 3. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 2003.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 520-521.
  4. Philippine Medicinal Plants. Ceylon hydrolea. Hydrolea zeylanica (Linn.) Vahl [homepage on the Internet]. c2014 [updated 2014 Jan; cited 2015 Jul 06] Available from: http://www.stuartxchange.org/CeylonHydrolea.html