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Bacopa monnieri
(water hyssop)

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Datasheet

Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 03 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Bacopa monnieri
  • Preferred Common Name
  • water hyssop
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Bacopa monnieri is an aquatic herb that has been used as an ornamental in ponds and aquaria and as a medicinal herb. It grows gregariously and often forms dense mats in marshy places, mangroves, riverbanks, coa...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); flowers and leaves. Kanaha Beach, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2007.
TitleFlowers
CaptionBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); flowers and leaves. Kanaha Beach, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2007.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); flowers and leaves. Kanaha Beach, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2007.
FlowersBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); flowers and leaves. Kanaha Beach, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2007.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit. Puhilele Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii,USA. May 2004.
TitleHabit
CaptionBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit. Puhilele Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii,USA. May 2004.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit. Puhilele Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii,USA. May 2004.
HabitBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit. Puhilele Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii,USA. May 2004.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit, showing flowers and leaves. Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India. November 2013.
TitleHabit
CaptionBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit, showing flowers and leaves. Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India. November 2013.
CopyrightPublic Domain - Released by Dr S.Soundarapandian/via wikipedia - CC 0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit, showing flowers and leaves. Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India. November 2013.
HabitBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit, showing flowers and leaves. Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India. November 2013.Public Domain - Released by Dr S.Soundarapandian/via wikipedia - CC 0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); flower and leaves. Hyderabad, India. September 2009.
TitleFlower
CaptionBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); flower and leaves. Hyderabad, India. September 2009.
Copyright©J.M. Garg/via wikipedia - CC BY 3.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); flower and leaves. Hyderabad, India. September 2009.
FlowerBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); flower and leaves. Hyderabad, India. September 2009.©J.M. Garg/via wikipedia - CC BY 3.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit, as a dense matt of Bacope vegetation. Kealia Pond NWR, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June 2013.
TitleHabit
CaptionBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit, as a dense matt of Bacope vegetation. Kealia Pond NWR, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June 2013.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit, as a dense matt of Bacope vegetation. Kealia Pond NWR, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June 2013.
HabitBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit, as a dense matt of Bacope vegetation. Kealia Pond NWR, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June 2013.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit. Maliko, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2010.
TitleHabit
CaptionBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit. Maliko, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2010.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit. Maliko, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2010.
HabitBacopa monnieri (water hyssop); habit. Maliko, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2010.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst.

Preferred Common Name

  • water hyssop

Other Scientific Names

  • Anisocalyx limnanthiflorus (L.) Hance
  • Bacopa micromonnieria (Griseb.) B.L.Rob
  • Bramia indica Lam.
  • Bramia micromonnieria (Griseb.) Pennell
  • Bramia monnieri (L.) Drake
  • Bramia monnieri (L.) Pennell
  • Calytriplex obovata Ruiz & Pav.
  • Capraria monnieria Roxb.
  • Gratiola monnieri (L.) L.
  • Gratiola portulacacea Weinm.
  • Gratiola tetrandra Stokes
  • Habershamia cuneifolia (Michx.) Raf.
  • Herpestis cuneifolia Michx
  • Herpestis micromonnieria Griseb.
  • Herpestis monnieri (L.) Kunth
  • Herpestis monnieri (L.) Rothm.
  • Herpestis procumbens Spreng.
  • Limosella calycina Forssk.
  • Lysimachia monnieri L.
  • Monniera cuneifolia Michx.
  • Septas repens Lour.

International Common Names

  • English: bacopa; coastal water-hyssop; herb-of-grace; white hyssop
  • French: bacopa de monnier; bacopa des herbalistes; bacopa médicinale; bramia de saint-paul; petite bacopa
  • Chinese: jia ma chi xian

Local Common Names

  • Cambodia: snau
  • El Salvador: verdolaga
  • India: adha-birni; afed chamni; brahmi; farfakh; gundala; Indian-pennywort; indravalli
  • Lesser Antilles: veronique
  • Malaysia: beremi
  • Mexico: baraima
  • Philippines: ulasimang-aso
  • Puerto Rico: yerba de culebra
  • Thailand: phak mi; phrommi
  • Vietnam: rau sam

Summary of Invasiveness

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Bacopa monnieri is an aquatic herb that has been used as an ornamental in ponds and aquaria and as a medicinal herb. It grows gregariously and often forms dense mats in marshy places, mangroves, riverbanks, coastal areas and along streams and ditches. It can tolerate brackish water and has adapted to grow under varying soil and climatic conditions, performing exceptionally well on poorly drained soils and waterlogged areas. It is native to the Americas, Asia and Africa and listed as invasive in Japan, Singapore, Spain, Portugal and the Cayman Islands. In aquatic habitats it has deleterious effects on native plants and animals, water quality, water flow and sedimentation. In terrestrial situations it degrades riverbanks, margins of ponds, lakes and coastal areas.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Scrophulariales
  •                         Family: Scrophulariaceae
  •                             Genus: Bacopa
  •                                 Species: Bacopa monnieri

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Bacopa has been assigned to the family Plantaginacae, following the disintegration of the family Scrophulariaceae (Olmstead et al., 2001; Olmstead, 2002), with Plantaginacae taking precedence over the younger proposed family name Veronicaceae.

Plantaginaceae is a diverse family comprising approximately 90 genera and 1900 species distributed mostly across temperate regions but also occurring in tropical and subtropical areas. Species within Plantaginaceae include herbs, shrubs and aquatic plants that can be distinguished by two features: the frequent absence of regular vertical partitions in the heads of the glandular hairs and septicidal capsule dehiscence (Stevens, 2017).

The genus Bacopa comprises approximately 55 to 70 species of aquatic herbs (most of which grow as amphibious plants) distributed across tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Bacopa is sometimes confused with other small prostrate herbs like Lindernia, Callitriche, Stemodia and Mecardonia that may be found in similar habitats (Flora Mesoamericana, 2017; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017; The Plant List, 2013; Flora of Panama, 2017).

Description

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Herbs prostrate to decumbent, succulent, glabrous. Stems creeping, to 50 cm, loosely ascending, rooting at nodes, much-branched. Leaves sessile, 0.5-2 cm by 0.15-0.8 cm, oblong-oblanceolate, the bases cuneate, the margins entire or denticulate, the apices rounded, with 1-3 parallel veins from the base of the blade, glabrous. Inflorescences of solitary axillary flowers; pedicels 0.5 cm to 1(-3.5) cm; bracteoles 2, 1.3-4.5 mm, lanceolate-linear, below calyx. Calyx 4.2-7 mm; outer 3 sepals succulent, ovate-lanceolate, apices rounded, inner 2 lanceolate to linear, keeled, ciliate. Corolla 6-9 mm, campanulate, 5-lobed, nearly regular, but the lower central lobe somewhat longer and more separated from the other lobes, white, pink or lavender blue, often with purple lines, the throat dark purple, the tube yellow within. Stigma capitate, united. Capsule 4.5-5 mm, ovoid, enveloped in persistent calyx; seeds numerous 0.5 mm long, longitudinally reticulate, the reticulum reddish brown (Flora Mesoamericana, 2017; Flora of Panama, 2017). 

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Aquatic
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Succulent
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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It is most likely that B. monnieri originates from tropical Asia, and is now widespread throughout the tropics and subtropics. It can be found across Asia, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Australia, the Iberian Peninsula, the Americas and the Caribbean (Lansdown et al., 2013; USDA-ARS, 2017). It is listed as introduced in Japan, Singapore, Spain, Portugal and the Cayman Islands (Díaz and Beiras, 2007​; APASD, 2007; DAISIE, 2017; ISSG, 2017; GRIIS, 2017).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

BahrainPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
BhutanPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013; GRIIS, 2017; ISSG, 2017Recorded as native by Lansdown et al. and GISD and introduced (but not verified) by GRIIS
CambodiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
ChinaPresentNative
-FujianPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-GuangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-HainanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-YunnanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
IndiaPresentNative
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-Andhra PradeshPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-AssamPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-BiharPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-DelhiPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-GoaPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-GujaratPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-Indian PunjabPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-KarnatakaPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-KeralaPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-OdishaPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-RajasthanPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-Tamil NaduPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-West BengalPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
IndonesiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
JapanPresentIntroducedAPASD, 2007; GRIIS, 2017
KuwaitPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
LaosPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
MalaysiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
NepalPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
OmanPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
PakistanPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
PhilippinesPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
Saudi ArabiaPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
SingaporePresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2017
Sri LankaPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
TaiwanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
ThailandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
YemenPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013

Africa

MadagascarPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
MozambiquePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
NigeriaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
SomaliaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
South AfricaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
SwazilandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017

North America

MexicoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
USAPresentNative
-AlabamaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-ArizonaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-CaliforniaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-FloridaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-GeorgiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-HawaiiPresentNativeLansdown et al., 2013
-LouisianaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-MarylandPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-MississippiPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-North CarolinaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-OklahomaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-South CarolinaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-TexasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-VirginiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaPresentBroome et al., 2007Status uncertain
BahamasPresentNativeAcevedo and Strong, 2012
BarbadosPresentBroome et al., 2007Status uncertain
BelizePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
British Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo and Strong, 2012
Cayman IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo and Strong, 2012; ISSG, 2017Recorded as introduced by ISSG and native by Acevedo and Strong
Costa RicaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
CubaPresentNativeAcevedo and Strong, 2012
Dominican RepublicPresentNativeAcevedo and Strong, 2012
El SalvadorPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
GrenadaPresentBroome et al., 2007Status uncertain
GuadeloupePresentBroome et al., 2007Status uncertain
GuatemalaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
HaitiPresentNativeAcevedo and Strong, 2012
HondurasPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
JamaicaPresentNativeAcevedo and Strong, 2012
MartiniquePresentBroome et al., 2007
NicaraguaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
PanamaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
Puerto RicoPresentNativeAcevedo and Strong, 2012
Saint LuciaPresentBroome et al., 2007Status uncertain
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
United States Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo and Strong, 2012

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
BoliviaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
BrazilPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-BahiaPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-CearaPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-Espirito SantoPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-ParanaPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-PernambucoPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-Santa CatarinaPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
-Sao PauloPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2017
ChilePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
ColombiaPresentBarringer, 2015
EcuadorPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
French GuianaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
ParaguayPresentFlora Mesoamericana, 2017
PeruPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
UruguayPresentBarringer, 2015
VenezuelaPresentBarringer, 2015

Europe

PortugalPresentIntroduced Invasive DAISIE, 2017
SpainPresentIntroduced Invasive ​Díaz and Beiras, 2007​

Oceania

AustraliaPresentNative
-New South WalesPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
-QueenslandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017

History of Introduction and Spread

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Intentional introduction

B. monnieri has been intentionally introduced by humans to be grown as a medicinal herb and also as an ornamental plant in ponds and aquaria (USDA-ARS, 2017). It is listed as introduced and invasive in Japan, Singapore, Spain, Portugal and the Cayman Islands (​Díaz and Beiras, 2007​; APASD, 2007DAISIE, 2017ISSG, 2017; GRIIS, 2017).

Habitat

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B. monnieri is an amphibious plant that can be found growing in both terrestrial and submersed aquatic conditions, as well as in the interface between these two environments. It often grows in wet places, roadsides, gardens, in mud or sand along riverbanks, ponds and lakes, wooded slopes, on the edges of mangroves, estuaries, swamps and on sandy beaches along the coast at elevations below 1400 m (Flora Mesoamericana, 2017; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017). It can tolerate somewhat brackish water and is often found on foreshores (Flora of Panama, 2017).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details Natural
Wetlands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Coastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Natural
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Mangroves Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Mangroves Present, no further details Natural
Mangroves Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Mud flats Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Mud flats Present, no further details Natural
Mud flats Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Intertidal zone Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Intertidal zone Present, no further details Natural
Intertidal zone Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Salt marshes Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Salt marshes Present, no further details Natural
Salt marshes Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Freshwater
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Natural
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Lakes Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Lakes Present, no further details Natural
Lakes Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Natural
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Ponds Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Ponds Present, no further details Natural
Ponds Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Brackish
Springs Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Springs Present, no further details Natural
Springs Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Estuaries Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Estuaries Present, no further details Natural
Estuaries Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Lagoons Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Lagoons Present, no further details Natural
Lagoons Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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B. monnieri grows as a weed of rice fields and wet pastures and it can also colonize small-scale irrigated fields beneath date palms (Lansdown et al., 2013; ISSG, 2017; PROSEA, 2017).

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for B. monnieri is 2n = 64 (Samaddar et al., 2012).

Reproductive biology

In India, plants of B. monnieri bear hundreds of small blue-white flowers throughout the year. The reproductive system was found to be self compatible with entomophilous behavior. The honeybees Apis dorsata and Apis florea are regular visitors of the flowers of B. monnieri in India. The seeds of B. monnieri show a distinct dormancy period and sunlight appears to be an essential requirement for seed germination (Mathur and Kumar, 2001; PROSEA, 2017).

Physiology and phenology

In America and India, B. monnieri has been reported flowering and fruiting throughout the year (Flora Mesoamericana, 2017; India Biodiversity Portal, 2017). In China, it has been recorded flowering from May to October (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017).

Activity patterns

 B. monnieri is a perennial or sometimes annual plant. Plants may grow from seed to adult in around 6 months (PROSEA, 2017).

Environmental requirements

B. monnieri performs exceptionally well in poorly drained soils and waterlogged areas. It prefers areas with temperature range from 16°C to 28°C and sandy soils with pH in the range of 6.3 to 8.8. It can also grow in water with pH ranging from 5.5. to 7.3 and water hardness (dGH) in the range 142.86 - 535.71 ppm. B. monnieri has adapted to grow in foreshore, seashore and marshy areas within the influence of salt and brackish water (Flora Mesoamericana, 2017; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017; PROSEA, 2017).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
40 30 0 1400

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 16 28

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light

Special soil tolerances

  • saline

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Hardness (mg/l of Calcium Carbonate) 142.86 535.71
Water pH (pH) 5.5 7.3
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 8 20

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Anartia jatrophae Herbivore Whole plant not specific
Meloidogyne Pathogen Whole plant not specific
Spodoptera litura Herbivore Whole plant not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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B. monnieri is a caterpillar food plant of the white peacock butterfly, Anartia jatrophae. The tobacco cutworm, Spodoptera litura, has been observed to cause damage under greenhouse conditions (Tripathi et al., 1997). B. monnieri is also a host for several nematodes in the genus Meloidogyne (PROSEA, 2017). 

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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B. monnieri spreads both by seeds and vegetatively by stem fragments. Seeds and stem fragments are commonly spread by waterways and floods, with new plants developing rapidly from any piece of stem or root material containing a node (PROSEA, 2017).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Medicinal useWidely commercialized as medicinal herb Yes Yes PROSEA, 2017
Ornamental purposesCultivated as an ornamental of ponds, gardens, and aquaria Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2017
Pet tradeBacopa monnieri is a very popular aquatic plant for use in aquaria Yes Yes PROSEA, 2017

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesseed and stem fragments Yes Yes PROSEA, 2017
Floating vegetation and debrisseed and stem fragments Yes Yes PROSEA, 2017
Waterseed and stem fragments Yes Yes PROSEA, 2017

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive

Impact

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B. monnieri is a weed of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, forming dense mats in wetlands, wet pastures, rice fields, irrigated areas, riversides and coastal areas. In aquatic habitats, it has deleterious effects on native plants and animals, water quality, water flow and sedimentation. In terrestrial situations, it degrades riverbanks, margins of ponds, lakes and coastal areas. It has been listed as invasive in Japan, Singapore, Portugal, Spain and the Cayman Islands (​Díaz and Beiras, 2007​; APASD, 2007Varnham, 2009; DAISIE, 2017; ISSG, 2017; GRIIS, 2017).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

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Productive Uses and Management

B. monnieri is a medicinal plant used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine and in Ayurveda medicine. It is widely promoted to enhance memory, learning and concentration and also to treat anxiety, depression, and cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hepatic, neurological and respiratory problems. Plant extract and isolated bacosides (the major active components) have been extensively investigated in laboratory and clinical tests for their neuropharmacological effects and nootropic action. Studies have suggested that the active ingredients within B. monnieri may improve memory, attention, cognition and mood (Pase et al., 2012). In Peninsular Malaysia and Vietnam, the plant is sometimes eaten as a vegetable despite its bitterness. It is also a very popular aquatic plant among aquarium fish keepers (Russo and Borrelli, 2005; Charoenphon et al., 2016; PROSEA, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017).

 Economic value

In India, B. monnieri is cultivated as a medicinal plant. The dried herb is found in several Indian herbal nutritional supplements called "Smart Drugs", specifically for cognitive enhancement, reducing fatigue and forgetfulness. Across South East Asia, herbalists trade the dried plant in pharmacies (PROSEA, 2017).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity

General

  • Pet/aquarium trade

Human food and beverage

  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • garden plant

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., Strong, M. T., 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies, Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

APASD, 2007. Asian-Pacific Alien Species Database. http://www.naro.affrc.go.jp/archive/niaes/techdoc/apasd/Bacopa%20monnieri%20-B.html

Barringer KA, 2015. Scrophulariaceae. In: Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. VIII , 131 [ed. by Hammel BE, Grayum MH, Herrera C, Zamora N ]. 149–192.

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

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04/01/18 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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