Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene

Last updated: 30 Jul 2015

Scientific Name

Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene 


Blairia nodiflora (L.) Gaertn., Diototheca repens (Bertol.) Raf., Lantana larranagae Moldenke, Lantana repens Sessé & Moc., Lantana repens Larrañaga [Illegitimate], Lantana sarmentosa Spreng. ex C.B.Clarke [Spelling variant], Lippia aegyptiaca Carrière, Lippia fruticosa (Mill.) K.Kenn. ex R.W.Sanders, Lippia incisa (Small) Tidestr., Lippia litoralis Phil., Lippia nodiflora (L.) Michx., Lippia nodiflora Cham., Lippia repens (Bertol.) Spreng., Lippia sarmentosa (Willd.) Spreng., Phyla chinensis Lour., Phyla fruticosa (Mill.) K.Kenn. ex Wunderlin & B.F.Hansen, Phyla incisa Small, Piarimula chinensis (Lour.) Raf., Platonia nodiflora (L.) Raf., Verbena capitata Forssk., Verbena cuneata Willd. ex Spreng., Verbena elliptica Willd. ex Spreng., Verbena fruticosa Mill., Verbena globiflora Nocca ex Spreng., Verbena lanata Willd. ex Walp., Verbena nodiflora L., Verbena repens Bertol., Verbena repens Larrañaga [Illegitimate], Verbena sarmentosa Willd., Zappania nodiflora (L.) Lam., Zappania repens (Bertol.) Bertol., Zappania suberosa Spreng. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Lippia, frog fruit, cape weed [2], daisylawn, fog fruit, knotted-flower phyla, matgrass, turkey-tangle [3]
China Guo jiang teng shu, guo jiang teng [3]
India Arki mirchi, bafli, bakkan, bhui-okra, bhuiokara, bhuiokra, bokenaku, bokkena, bokkenaku, btutalai,   bukkan, bukun booti, caivam, calakirakani, calakkiranitipanam, cempucattumuli, cetitta, chinglembi, civakarnanki [3]
Thailand Yaa klet plaa (Central) [2]
Philippines Busbusi (Iloko); chachahan (Tagalog); sirik puyo (Bisaya) [2]; kolud, lopulopu [3]
Cambodia Man am ca dam [2]
Vietnam D[aa]y l[uws]c, s[af]i d[aas]t gi[ar] [2]
Nepal Abijali, aikamar, kurkure jhar, phuli jar [3]
Pakistan Jal-nim, makna, wakan [3]
Japan Iwa-dare-so [3].

Geographical Distributions

Phyla nodiflora is found in tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world. It is found in a wide range of soils but prefers well-drained sandy soils and is of­ten encountered in bordering waterways and near the sea. P. nodiflora can be a common weed in open, waste places at low and medium altitudes. [2]

Botanical Description

P. nodiflora is a member of the Verbenaceae family. It is a perennial creeping herb, with prostrate stems, and mostly rooting at the nodes that can grow up to (10-)30-90 cm tall. The branches are slender, procumbent or ascend­ing, with densely appressed strigillose, to hairy or nearly hairless. [2]

The leaves are decussate, variable, spathulate to obovate or elliptical, measure 1-7 cm x 0.6-2.5 cm, long-or short-wedge-shaped at base, rounded or obtuse at apex, with basally entire margin, sharply serrate above the middle, variably strigillose hairy to hairless on both surfaces and fleshy. The petiole is 2-8 mm long or absent, as well as the stipules. [2]

The inflorescence is an axillary. At first, it is nearly spherical-head-like but later becoming cylindrical and often elongated with age. It measures 1-2.5 cm x 0.5-1 cm long when mature and densely many-flowered. The peduncle is 1-11.5 cm long and bracteolate. The flowers are sessile and subtended by a bract. The sepal is deeply 2-cleft, up to 2 mm long while the petal is purple or pink to white. The mouth is often yellow while the throat is pink-brown. The tube is slightly exserted from the sepal and 4-lobed. The lobes are subequal where the lower lobe is larger and bifid. There are 4 stamens, which are didynamous, included or slightly exserted. The ovary is superior, 2-locular, and with 1 ovule per locule. The stigma is capitate. [2]

The fruit is a drupe, 1.5-2 mm long, dry, spherical to oblong and flattened. At maturity, it is divided into 2 planoconvex pyrenes. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of P. nodiflora [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2015 Jul 28]. Available from:
  2. Chuakul W, Soonthornchareonnon N, Ruangsomboon O. Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2001; p. 418-420.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 535-536.