Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene

Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene




Verbena nodiflora L., Phyla chinensis Lour., Lippia nodiflora (L.) Michx.

Vernacular Names


Lippia, frog fruit, cape weed.


Busbusi (Iloko), chacha­han (Tagalog), sirik puyo (Bisaya).


Man am ca dam.


Yaa klet plaa (Central).


D[aa]y l[uws]c, s[af]i d[aas]t gi[ar].

Geographical Distributions

Phyla nodi­flora is found in tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world.


Phyla nodi­flora 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.

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.

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.

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.

Ecology / Cultivation

Phyla nodiflora 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. It can be a common weed in open, waste places at low and medium altitudes.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.