Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Centella asiatica
(Asiatic pennywort)

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Datasheet

Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Centella asiatica
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Asiatic pennywort
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • C. asiatica is a low-growing perennial with a pan-tropical distribution. It can spread to form a dense ground cover, desirable in some situations but unwelcome in others. It is recorded as invasive in a number of Pacific islands to which...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); habit, showing leaves and flowers. Thot, Can Tho, Vietnam. December, 2013.
TitleHabit
CaptionCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); habit, showing leaves and flowers. Thot, Can Tho, Vietnam. December, 2013.
Copyright©Bùi Thụy Đào Nguyên/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); habit, showing leaves and flowers. Thot, Can Tho, Vietnam. December, 2013.
HabitCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); habit, showing leaves and flowers. Thot, Can Tho, Vietnam. December, 2013.©Bùi Thụy Đào Nguyên/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); habit. USA.
TitleHabit
CaptionCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); habit. USA.
Copyright©John D. Byrd/Mississippi State University/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); habit. USA.
HabitCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); habit. USA.©John D. Byrd/Mississippi State University/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); infestation, showing leaves. Waikapu Valley, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2012.
TitleInfestation
CaptionCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); infestation, showing leaves. Waikapu Valley, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2012.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2012 - CC BY 3.0
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); infestation, showing leaves. Waikapu Valley, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2012.
InfestationCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); infestation, showing leaves. Waikapu Valley, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2012.©Forest & Kim Starr-2012 - CC BY 3.0
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); close-up of  leaf. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
TitleLeaf
CaptionCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); close-up of leaf. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2002 - CC BY 3.0
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); close-up of  leaf. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
LeafCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); close-up of leaf. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.©Forest & Kim Starr-2002 - CC BY 3.0
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); infestation, close-up of leaf in habitat. West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
TitleLeaf
CaptionCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); infestation, close-up of leaf in habitat. West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); infestation, close-up of leaf in habitat. West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
LeafCentella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort); infestation, close-up of leaf in habitat. West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.

Preferred Common Name

  • Asiatic pennywort

Other Scientific Names

  • Centella boninensis Nakai ex Tuyama
  • Centella coriacea Nannf.
  • Centella erecta (L. f.) Fernald
  • Centella glochidiata (Benth.) Drude
  • Centella hirtella Nannf.
  • Centella repanda (Pers.) Small
  • Centella tussilaginifolia (Baker) Domin
  • Centella ulugurensis (Engl.) Domin
  • Centella uniflora (Colenso) Nannf.
  • Chondrocarpus asiaticus Nutt.
  • Chondrocarpus triflorus Nutt.
  • Glyceria asiatica Nutt.
  • Glyceria triflora Nutt.
  • Hydrocotyle asiatica L.
  • Hydrocotyle biflora P. Vell.
  • Hydrocotyle brasiliensis Scheidw. ex Otto & F. Dietr.
  • Hydrocotyle brevipedata St. Lager & St.-Lag
  • Hydrocotyle ficarifolia Stokes
  • Hydrocotyle ficarioides Lam.
  • Hydrocotyle inaequipes DC.
  • Hydrocotyle lurida Hance
  • Hydrocotyle nummularioides A. Rich
  • Hydrocotyle reniformis Walte
  • Hydrocotyle repanda Pers.
  • Hydrocotyle sylvicola E. Jacob Cordemoy
  • Hydrocotyle triflora Ruiz & Pav
  • Hydrocotyle tussilaginifolia Baker
  • Hydrocotyle uniflora Colenso

International Common Names

  • English: centella; goyu cola; goyu kola; Indian pennywort; marsh pennywort; pennyweed; sheeprot; spadeleaf
  • Spanish: hierba de clavo; sombrerito
  • French: écuelle d’eau; fausse violette; hydroctyle asiatique
  • Chinese: ji xue cao

Local Common Names

  • Bangladesh: pahartali
  • Cook Islands: kapukapu
  • Cuba: oreja de raton
  • Fiji: tatandra; tododro; totono
  • Germany: Asiatische Sumpfpfennigkraut
  • India: brahmi
  • India/West Bengal: thankuni
  • Japan: tsubokusa; tsubo-kusa
  • Sweden: sallatsspikblad
  • Thailand: buabok
  • USA: coinwort
  • USA/Hawaii: pohe kula

EPPO code

  • CLLAS (Centella asiatica)

Summary of Invasiveness

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C. asiatica is a low-growing perennial with a pan-tropical distribution. It can spread to form a dense ground cover, desirable in some situations but unwelcome in others. It is recorded as invasive in a number of Pacific islands to which it has been introduced and is classed as High Risk (score 7) by PIER (2014), but the situations in which it is causing problems are not clear. It is not especially competitive in crops but may affect wild vegetation and biodiversity. C. asiatica is also among a number of species invasive in the Dongting Lake wetlands, Hunan province, China (Hou et al., 2011).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Apiales
  •                         Family: Apiaceae
  •                             Genus: Centella
  •                                 Species: Centella asiatica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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C. asiatica has been known by a wide range of synonyms but only Hydrocotyle asiatica is still occasionally used. Both genera have sometimes been referred to the family Hydrocotylaceae but are now included in Apiaceae (= Umbelliferae).

Floridata (2014) suggested that material previously known as C. asiatica in USA is in fact a separate species C. erecta (= C. repanda). This is based on the paper by Fernald (1940), who established this name. US sources currently make the distinction, listing C. erecta as native in a number of states, and C. asiatica as introduced in Florida and Oregon only. As there is still some doubt and disagreement concerning this possible split, and as it has not been possible to trace any key describing the differences, for the purposes of this datasheet C. erecta is treated as a synonym of C. asiatica.

C. asiatica is a highly variable species and there has been much selection of types for medicinal and other uses. Some are registered as commercial varieties, such as cultivars Kayakirti and Majjaposhak in India (Mathur et al., 1999).

Description

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Adapted from Flora Zambesiaca (2014):

Perennial creeping herb, rooting at the nodes, but sometimes forming a large taproot. Stem terete, with shallow grooves, sometimes purplish. Leaves solitary or in groups of up to 5, pubescent or glabrous; lamina 1–7 cm. wide, reniform to almost orbicular, with a deep basal sinus; margin crenate, glabrous or with scattered hairs on upper part of petiole (petiole sometimes densely hairy when young). Umbels subcapitate; peduncles 1·5–5 cm. long, glabrous or pubescent, usually much shorter than the subtending petiole. Flowers 2–8, inconspicuous, hermaphrodite, with an involucre of 2 ovate, membranous, persistent bracts. Pedicels slender or obsolete; petals 5, dark crimson to greenish-white, 1 mm, orbicular with a slender inflexed point. Calyx teeth and stylopodium obsolete; styles short, ± divergent. Fruit 3·5 × 3 mm., orbicular to ellipsoid, brown at maturity, deeply constricted at the commissure and flattened laterally, primary ribs prominent when ripe, secondary ribs ± evident; carpophore entire, splitting in two at maturity with a seed in each half.

Plant Type

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Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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According to USDA-ARS (2014), C. asiatica is native across much of tropical Africa, Asia, Australia, South America and some islands in the Pacific. Other sources including PIER (2014) indicate that it originates from Asia but is now pan-tropical.

C. asiatica has more recently been introduced to further islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and some temperate countries of Europe and western Asia. There are a number of Pacific islands where it is known to occur but there is no certainty whether it is native or introduced.

C. asiatica is listed as introduced to Florida and Texas in USA (USDA-NRCS, 2014) but there is confusion with the native C. erecta, which is here treated as a synonym (see Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature). Hence all USA records are treated here as native.

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.

Last updated: 25 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresentNative
BeninPresentNative
BotswanaPresentNative
Burkina FasoPresentNative
BurundiPresentNative
CameroonPresentNative
ComorosPresent
Côte d'IvoirePresentNative
Equatorial GuineaPresentNative
EswatiniPresentNative
EthiopiaPresentNative
GabonPresentNative
GhanaPresentNative
GuineaPresentNative
Guinea-BissauPresentNative
KenyaPresentNative
LesothoPresentNative
LiberiaPresentNative
MadagascarPresentIntroduced
MalawiPresentNative
MaliPresentNative
MauritiusPresent
MayottePresentNative
MozambiquePresentNative
NamibiaPresentNative
NigerPresentNative
NigeriaPresentNative
RéunionPresentNative
Saint HelenaPresentNative
SenegalPresentNative
SeychellesPresentIntroducedInvasive
Sierra LeonePresentNative
SomaliaPresentNative
South AfricaPresentNative
TanzaniaPresentNative
TogoPresentNative
UgandaPresentNative
ZambiaPresentNative
ZimbabwePresentNative

Asia

ArmeniaPresentIntroduced
AzerbaijanPresentIntroduced
BangladeshPresentNative
BhutanPresentNative
British Indian Ocean Territory
-Chagos ArchipelagoPresentIntroducedInvasive
CambodiaPresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced
ChinaPresentNative
-AnhuiPresentNative
-FujianPresentNative
-GuangdongPresentNative
-GuangxiPresentNative
-HubeiPresentNative
-HunanPresentNative
-JiangsuPresentNative
-JiangxiPresentNative
-ShaanxiPresentNative
-SichuanPresentNative
-YunnanPresentNative
-ZhejiangPresentNative
GeorgiaPresentIntroduced
IndiaPresentNative
-Andhra PradeshPresent
-SikkimPresentNative
-Tamil NaduPresent
-UttarakhandPresent
-West BengalPresentNative
IndonesiaPresentNative
IranPresentNative
JapanPresentNativeOgasawara islands
LaosPresentNative
MalaysiaPresentNative
MongoliaPresentNative
MyanmarPresentNative
NepalPresentNative
North KoreaPresentNative
PakistanPresentNative
PhilippinesPresentNative
Saudi ArabiaPresentNative
SingaporePresentNative
South KoreaPresentNative
Sri LankaPresentNative
TaiwanPresentNative
ThailandPresentNative
VietnamPresentNative
YemenPresentNative

Europe

LiechtensteinPresentIntroduced
NorwayPresentIntroduced
RussiaPresent

North America

BahamasPresentNative
BelizePresentNative
CubaPresentNative
DominicaPresentNative
Dominican RepublicPresentNative
El SalvadorPresentNative
GuatemalaPresentNative
JamaicaPresentNative
MexicoPresent
Puerto RicoPresentNative
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNative
United StatesPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-ArkansasPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-DelawarePresentNativeAs C. erecta
-FloridaPresentAs C. erecta and C. asiatica
-GeorgiaPresent
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasiveHawai’I, Kaua’I, Lana’Ii, Maui, Moloka’I and O’ahu islands
-LouisianaPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-MarylandPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-MississippiPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-New JerseyPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-North CarolinaPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-OregonPresentC. erecta and C. asiatica
-South CarolinaPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-TexasPresentNativeAs C. erecta
-VirginiaPresentNativeAs C. erecta

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroducedOfu, Olosega, Ta’u, Tutuila islands
AustraliaPresentNative
-Lord Howe IslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New South WalesPresentNative
-QueenslandPresentNative
Christmas IslandPresentNative
Cook IslandsPresentRaratonga, Mangaia, Ma’uke, and Miti’aro islands
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentNativeEtal, Lukunor, Namoluk, Pis, Puluwat, Satawan, Weno, KosraePohnpei, Fais, Faraulep, Ifalik, Ulithi, Woleai and Yap islands
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveFatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Maupiti, MooreaRaiatea, Tahiti, Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu and Ua Huka islands
GuamPresentNative
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveAilinglaplap, Ebon,Jauit, Kwajalein, Namu, Ujae, Ailuk, Arno, Aur, Likiep, Majuro, Mejit, Mili, Utirik and Wotje islands
New CaledoniaPresent
New ZealandPresentNative
NiuePresentIntroducedInvasive
Norfolk IslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentNativeAgrigan, lamagan,Anatahan, Pagan. Rota, Saipan, Sarigan islands
PalauPresentNativeTobi, Angaur, Babeldaob, Kayangel, Koror,Ngerkebesang, Merir, Pulo Ana, Sonsorol islands
Papua New GuineaPresentBismark, Bouganville islands
SamoaPresent
Solomon IslandsPresentNative
TongaPresentKao, Tonga, Eua, Tongatapu, Tafahi and Vava’u islands
TuvaluPresent
VanuatuPresent
Wallis and FutunaPresentIntroducedInvasive

South America

ArgentinaPresentNative
BrazilPresentNative
-AlagoasPresentNative
-BahiaPresentNative
-Espirito SantoPresentNative
-Minas GeraisPresentNative
-ParanaPresentNative
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNative
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNative
-Santa CatarinaPresentNative
-Sao PauloPresentNative
ChilePresentNativeAnd Juan Fernandez islands
ColombiaPresentNative
EcuadorPresentIntroducedGalapagos Islands
ParaguayPresentNative
PeruPresentNative
UruguayPresentNative
VenezuelaPresentNative

Risk of Introduction

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Considering its widespread use and popularity as a medicinal herb (see Uses), there are clear risks of its introduction to further territories for such use. Even in Hawaii, where it is noted as an invasive weed, it is available from a local plant nursery (Hawaiian Tropical Plant Nursery, 2014).

Habitat

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C. asiatica is a plant of relatively wet habitats, such as pastures, meadows, ditches, riversides, ponds, wetlands, wet forest, roadsides, in plantation crops and some annual crops including rice, from 300-1450 m altitude (PIER, 2014; IUCN, 2015). It is adapted to partial shade but also thrives in full sun.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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C. asiatica is recorded as a weed in rice paddies, various plantation crops and forestry, but there are no indications of serious crop loss due to C. asiatica. Where it is listed as invasive, some native species are being impacted but little detail has been seen. In Hawaii, C. asiatica is among introduced species which have contributed to the decline of native sedges Carex thunbergii and Carex echinata (University of Hawaii, 1991).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Camellia sinensis (tea)TheaceaeOther
    Oryza sativa (rice)PoaceaeMain

      Biology and Ecology

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      Genetics

      Reported chromosome numbers include 2n = 18, 36, 54 (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014).

      Rakotondralambo et al. (2013) confirmed the presence of both diploid and tetraploid populations in Madagascar and measured differences in triterpenoid levels. A deliberately induced tetraploid line has been shown to have greater dry weight, larger leaves and increased content of triterpenoids (Thong-on et al., 2014).

      A number of studies have confirmed the considerable variation across different populations of C. asiatica, including in China (Zhang et al., 2012) and in India (Mathur et al., 2003).

      In leaf transcriptome studies, results from gene ontology and functional annotation of sequences resulted in the identification of genes related to different sets of cellular functions, including identification of genes related to primary and secondary metabolism (Sangwan et al., 2013).

      Reproductive Biology

      C. asiatica reproduces by seed and by its far-reaching runners, which root at the nodes and can survive separation from the parent plant (Floridata, 2014). C. asiatica  is pollinated by insects (PFAF, 2015).

      Singh and Singh (2002) compared the growth rates of seedlings and individual ramets from established plants and concluded that the latter are the more important in maintaining and extending populations at the local level.

      In relation to its value as a medicinal plant and concern at the possible loss of useful ecotypes, a number of authors (e.g. Hanumantharaya et al., 2010; Joshi et al., 2013) have reported methods for in vitro plantlet regeneration via callus-mediated organogenesis from leaf and stem explants. Gandi and Giri (2012) also reported the successful transformation of C. asiatica using Agrobacterium rhizogenes 8196.

      Physiology and Phenology   

      Fresh seeds tend to be dormant for about two months but are then able to germinate at 25-30°C, with best germination in red or white light (Devkota and Jha, 2010a). Germination was seriously inhibited by salinity (NaCl at 6500 ppm) (Devkota and Jha, 2010a).

      Nutrition

      Under artificial shade net condition, 100:50:0 kg NPK/ha was found optimum for growth of C. asiatica (Krishnamurthy et al., 2006). In a pot study, Devkota and Jha (2013) compared different ratios of urea and farmyard manure and found the optimum to be a 50:50 mixture of the two.

      Associations

      An area of low-lying (5-3000 m altitude) grazed Zoysia japonica grassland in northwest Kyushu, Japan, was recognized as a new association of Zoysia japonica,  characterized by the presence of C. asiatica and Lespedeza cuneata var. serpens (Itow, 1970).

      Environmental Requirements

      C. asiatica prefers damp habitats (IUCN, 2015). It can tolerate partial shade but also grows in full sun. Devkota and Jha (2010b) recorded highest biomass under 30% shading but found that root systems were strongest in full sunlight. Growth was reduced at 50 and 70% shading.

      C. asiatica will grow on a wide range of soil types, including clay, but favours lighter soils with clay content below 50% (Devkota and Jha, 2014).

      C. asiatica grown under the shade of a mango orchard produced dry yield of 5.52 tonnes/ha from six coppicings per hectare in two years. Under artificial shade, 100:50:0 kg NPK/ha was found to be optimal, recording a maximum dry weight yield of 2.16 tonnes/ha per year (Krishnamurthy et al., 2006).

      Climate

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

      Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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      Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
      45 40

      Soil Tolerances

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      Soil drainage

      • impeded
      • seasonally waterlogged

      Soil reaction

      • acid
      • alkaline
      • neutral

      Soil texture

      • heavy
      • light
      • medium

      Natural enemies

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      Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
      Aphelenchus avenae Herbivore Roots
      Cochliobolus geniculatus Pathogen
      Helicotylenchus dihystera Herbivore Roots
      Rotylenchulus reniformis Herbivore Roots
      Tylenchorhynchus mashhoodi Herbivore Roots
      Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris Pathogen

      Notes on Natural Enemies

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      In India, Cercospora centellae, Pseudomonas solanacearum, Cochliobolus geniculatus and Alternaria sp. have all been recorded on C. asiatica (Choudhury et al., 2012).

      Devi (2009) recorded 21 nematode species on C. asiatica in Manipur, India, the commonest of which are listed in the table above.

      Although not showing adverse reaction to infection by Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, C. asiatica acts as an alternate host and can be a source of infection for cruciferous crops (Kishun and Chand, 1988).

      A number of other natural enemies are listed in the Table. None are thought to be especially damaging.

      Means of Movement and Dispersal

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      Accidental Introduction

      Accidental introduction may occur on a local basis via garden waste, or contamination of nursery stock.

      Intentional Introduction

      As a highly favoured medicinal plant, intentional introduction has no doubt been at least partly responsible for the spread of C. asiatica over many centuries.

      Pathway Causes

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      CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
      Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes
      Garden waste disposal Yes
      Medicinal use Yes Yes

      Pathway Vectors

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      VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
      Machinery and equipment Yes
      Plants or parts of plants Yes Yes

      Impact Summary

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

      Economic Impact

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      C. asiatica is a widespread and very common weed in plantation crops, sometimes dominant, but rarely reported as causing significant crop damage. Crops in which it has been reported include tea-tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) in Australia (Virtue et al., 1993); lawns and turf in China (Lin et al., 2004); rice in India (e.g. Subudhi and Dixit, 1998), and orchids in USA (Crabtree, 1963).

      It is generally regarded as a weed in tea plantations in India (e.g. Haridas and Sharma, 1973), though Perera (1955) considered it safe to use as a ground cover in the crop.

      Environmental Impact

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      Impact on Habitats

      No information could be found to suggest C. asiatica causes serious change to habitats.

      Impact on Biodiversity

      C. asiatica can become quite dominant and smother low-growing vegetation, which can sometimes include species which are endangered or otherwise of special interest. In Hawaii, C. asiatica is among introduced species which have contributed to the decline of native sedges Carex thunbergii and Carex echinata (University of Hawaii, 1991).

      Social Impact

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      Although C. asiatica is the basis for ointments for skin diseases, handling the plant may cause skin irritation or even violent allergic reaction in some individuals, as described by Gomes et al. (2010). The pollen may also cause allergic reaction (Dave’s Garden, 2014).

      Risk and Impact Factors

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      Invasiveness
      • Invasive in its native range
      • Proved invasive outside its native range
      • Has a broad native range
      • Abundant in its native range
      • Pioneering in disturbed areas
      • Tolerant of shade
      • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
      • Reproduces asexually
      • Has high genetic variability
      Impact outcomes
      • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
      • Modification of successional patterns
      • Monoculture formation
      • Negatively impacts agriculture
      • Negatively impacts forestry
      • Negatively impacts human health
      • Reduced native biodiversity
      • Threat to/ loss of native species
      Impact mechanisms
      • Competition - monopolizing resources
      • Competition - smothering

      Uses

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      Social Value

      C. asiatica is very widely used as a fresh vegetable, for example in northern Laos (Kosaka et al., 2013) and in Bangladesh, where Islam et al. (2013) recorded favourably high levels of copper in C. asiatica.

      C. asiatica is, however, known mainly for its medicinal uses. It is an important crop in Madagascar, where it is collected in the wild for its triterpenic glycoside compounds (Rakotondralambo et al., 2013). In the USA it is increasingly popular as a dietary supplement, where it is commonly available and sold as Gotu kola, Asiatic penny, Hydrocotyle or Brahmi  (Techen et al., 2011).

      There is a vast literature on the medicinal and other uses reviewed by WHO (1999): http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js2200e/10.html#Js2200e.10. Medicinal uses supported by clinical data include the treatment of wounds, burns and stomach ulcers.

      Chong and Aziz (2013), in a detailed review of published evidence, concluded that C. asiatica may be beneficial for improving signs and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI); however, this conclusion needs to be interpreted with caution as most of the studies were characterised by inadequate reporting. European Medicines Association (2014) concluded that the clinical efficacy of C. asiatica extract in the treatment of (CVI) was shown in different clinical studies, and reported no drug-related serious adverse events during the clinical trials.

      Taghizadeh et al. (2004) reported major clinical indications for the use of C. asiatica in humans for the treatment of wounds, venous insufficiency of the limbs, certain mycobacterial infections and cellulitis.

      There are further reviews of medicinal and other uses of C. asiatica by Jamil et al. (2007) and Gohil et al. (2010).

      Other uses include potential as a monitor of barium and arsenic pollution in soil (Ong et al., 2013a,b).

      Uses List

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      Human food and beverage

      • Vegetable

      Medicinal, pharmaceutical

      • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
      • Traditional/folklore

      Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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      This species is very similar in habit and appearance to, and is sometimes mistaken for, Dichondrarepens (Convolvulaceae) but the latter has more conspicuous 5-petalled white flowers and a less crenate leaf margin.

      Hydrocotyle asiatica is still occasionally used as a synonym of C. asiatica, but Centella spp. are distinguished by the presence of small bracts subtending the umbels, absent in Hydrocotyle.

      Prevention and Control

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      Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

      Cultural Control and Sanitary Measures

      Care is needed in the disposal of waste from gardens or plantations where the plant has been removed mechanically.

      Physical/Mechanical Control

      There are few specific reports but mechanical control by hoeing should be effective provided the loose plant material is removed to prevent re-establishment from the ramets.

      Chemical Control

      Tsai et al. (1987) reported C. asiatica susceptibility to glyphosate. Crabtree (1963) reported susceptibility to diuron, linuron and atrazine. Rochecouste and Vaughan (1963) reported it as resistant to MCPA and 2,4-D in Mauritius but other sources have indicated moderate susceptibility to these and other growth-regulating herbicides. Burt (1965) reported susceptibility of C. erecta to fenoprop and picloram.

      References

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      Burt EO, 1965. Postemergence control of weeds with herbicides. Report. Fla. agric. Exp. Stn. 316-17.

      Chong NJ; Aziz Z, 2013. A systematic review of the efficacy of Centella asiatica for improvement of the signs and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013:Article ID 627182. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/627182/

      Choudhury D; Dasgupta B; Paul PC, 2012. Studies on leaf spot of Centella asiatica caused by Alternaria sp. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Minor Fruits and Medicinal Plants for Health and Ecological Security (ISMF & MP), West Bengal, India, 19-22 December, 2011 [ed. by Ghosh, S. N.]. Mohanpur, India: Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswandyalaya, 237-241.

      Crabtree G, 1963. Research Progress Report. Western Weed Control Conference. 27-31 pp.

      Dave's Garden, 2014. Dave's Garden. El Segundo, California, USA: Internet Brands. http://davesgarden.com

      Devi NR, 2009. Plant parasitic nematodes associated with Indian pennywort Centella asiatica (L.) urban in Manipur. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 1(12):617-618. http://www.threatenedtaxa.org/ZooPrintJournal/2009/December/o211126xii09617-618.pdf

      Devkota A; Jha PK, 2010. Seed germination responses of the medicinal herb Centella asiatica. Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology, 22(2):143-150. http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1677-04202010000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en

      Devkota A; Jha PK, 2013. Effect of integrated manuring on growth and yield of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. Tropical Ecology, 54(1):89-95.

      Devkota A; Jha PK, 2014. Variation in growth of Centella asiatica along different soil composition. Botany Research International, 2(1):55-60.

      Devkota A; Jhan PK, 2010. Effects of different light levels on the growth traits and yield of Centella asiatica. Middle East Journal of Scientific Research, 5(4):226-230. http://www.idosi.org/mejsr/mejsr5(4)/6.pdf

      EOL, 2014. Encylopedia of Life. http://eol.org/

      European Medicines Agency, 2014. Assessment report on Centella asiatica (L.) Urban, herba. http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_HMPC_assessment_report/2012/06/WC500128144.pdf

      Fernald ML, 1940. Some spermatophytes of eastern North America. Rhodora, 42:281-302.

      Flora Zambesiaca, 2014. Flora Zambesiaca, Kew Databases. Richmond, UK: Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/families.htm

      Floridata, 2014. FLORIDATAbase website. Tallahassee, Florida, USA: Floridata.com. http://www.floridata.com/

      Gandi S; Giri A, 2012. Genetic transformation of Centella asiatica by Agrobacterium rhizogenes. Journal of Pharmacognosy, 3(2):82-84. http://www.bioinfo.in/uploadfiles/13476856573_2_10_JP.pdf

      GBIF, 2014. GBIF data portal. Copenhagen, Denmark: Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). http://data.gbif.org

      Gohil KJ; Patel JA; Gajjar AK, 2010. Pharmacological review on Centella asiatica: a potential herbal cure-all. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 72(5):546-556. http://www.ijpsonline.com/article.asp?issn=0250-474X;year=2010;volume=72;issue=5;spage=546;epage=556;aulast=Gohil

      Gomes J; Pereira T; Vilarinho C; Duarte Mda L; Brito C, 2010. Contact dermatitis due to Centella asiatica. Contact Dermatitis, 62(1):54-55. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/cod

      Grierson AJC; Long DG, 1999. Flora of Bhutan including a record of plants from Sikkim and Darjeeling. Vol. 2, Pt 2. Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and Royal Government of Bhutan.

      Hanumantharaya BG; Sathyanarayana BN; Arun WA, 2010. Efficient in vitro regeneration protocol as an aid to conserve wild population of Centella asiatica (L.) Dunal. Plant Cell Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, 11(1/4):51-58. http://www.pcbmb.bravehost.com

      Haridas P; Sharma VS, 1973. Some common weeds of South Indian tea fields. 11. Centella asiatica (L.) Urban and Drymaria diandra Blume. Planters' Chronicle, 68(22):475-476.

      Hawaiian Tropical Plant Nursery, 2014. Hawaiian Tropical Plant Nursery. http://www.hawaiiantropicalplants.com/medicinal.html

      Hou ZY; Xie YH; Chen XS; Li X; Li F; Pan Y; Deng ZM, 2011. Study on invasive plants in Dongting Lake wetlands. Research of Agricultural Modernization, 32(6):744-747.

      Islam F; Bhattacharjee SC; Hossain A; Islam S; Mahmud ASM; Ahmed Y; Rahman M, 2013. Assessment of copper in diverse pulses, bananas, vegetables and arums of five upazila of Chittagong area in Bangladesh by spectro-photometric method. International Food Research Journal, 20(4):1867-1871. http://www.ifrj.upm.edu.my/20%20(04)%202013/49%20IFRJ%2020%20(04)%202013%20Faridul%20(262).pdf

      Itow S, 1970. Centello-Zoysietum japonicae, a grazed grassland community in Kyushu, Japan. Japanese Journal of Ecology, 20(2):53-59.

      IUCN, 2015. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.iucnredlist.org/

      Jamil SS; Qudsia N; Mehboobus S, 2007. Centella asiatica (Linn.) Urban - a review. Natural Product Radiance, 6(2):158-170. www.niscair.res.in

      Joshi K; Chaturvedi P; Shubhpriya, 2013. Efficient in vitro regeneration protocol of Centella asiatica (L.) urban: an endemic and underutilized nutraceutical herb. African Journal of Biotechnology, 12(33):5164-5172. http://www.academicjournals.org/AJB/abstracts/abs2013/14Aug/Joshi%20et%20al.htm

      Kishun R; Chand R, 1988. Epiphytic survival of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris on Centella asiatica (L.) Urban. International Journal of Tropical Plant Diseases, 6(2):189-193

      Kosaka Y; Xayvongsa L; Vilayphone A; Chanthavong H; Takeda S; Kato M, 2013. Wild edible herbs in paddy fields and their sale in a mixture in Houaphan Province, the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Economic Botany, 67(4):335-349. http://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12231-013-9251-6

      Krishnamurthy R; Chandorkar MS; Kalzunkar EG; Pathak JM; Rajendra Gupta, 2006. Studies on agronomic practices for growing Centella asiatica (L.) Urban in high rainfall localities under open and partial shade of mango orchards. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 63(1):76-80. http://www.hsi1942.org

      Lin ZM; Chen JY; Lin MY; Chen ZH; Zhong YF, 2004. An update report on weed infestation of lawns and turf in Guangzhou and its control. Pratacultural Science, 21(6):68-72.

      Mathur S; Sharma S; Kumar S, 2003. Description of variation in the Indian accessions of the medicinal plant Centella asiatica (L.) Urban. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter, No.135:47-52.

      Mathur S; Shasany AK; Darokar MP; Khanuja SPS; Kumar S, 1999. Registration of two cultivars of the medicinal/vegetable plant Centella asiatica. Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences, 21(1):54-55.

      Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

      Ong GH; Yap CK; Maziah M; Suhaimi H; Tan SG, 2013. An investigation of arsenic contamination in Peninsular Malaysia based on Centella asiatica and soil samples. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(4):3243-3254. http://rd.springer.com/journal/10661

      Ong GH; Yap CK; Maziah M; Tan SG; Suhaimi H, 2013. Barium levels in soils and Centella asiatica. Tropical Life Sciences Research, 24(1):55-70. http://ernd.usm.my/journal/journal/TLSR24_1_61.pdf

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      PFAF, 2015. Plants For A Future. http://www.pfaf.org/user/Default.aspx

      PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

      Rakotondralambo SOR; Rodier-Goud M; Rivallan R; Lussert A; Danthu P; Lamotte Fde; Ralambofetra E; Ramavovololona P; Noyer JL; Baurens FC, 2013. Insight into the biology, genetics and evolution of the Centella asiatica polyploid complex in Madagascar. Industrial Crops and Products, 47:118-125. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926669013001027

      Rochecouste E; Vaughan RE, 1963. Leaflet. Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute, Nos. 7 & 8. 5 pp.

      Sangwan RS; Sandhya Tripathi; Jyoti Singh; Narnoliya LK; Sangwan NS, 2013. De novo sequencing and assembly of Centella asiatica leaf transcriptome for mapping of structural, functional and regulatory genes with special reference to secondary metabolism. Gene, 525(1):58-76. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378111913005544

      Singh P; Singh JS, 2002. Recruitment and competitive interaction between ramets and seedlings in a perennial medicinal herb, Centella asiatica. Basic and Applied Ecology, 3(1):65-76.

      Subudhi HN; Dixit N, 1998. Weed flora of rice fields in Orissa. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 22(3):737-739.

      Taghizadeh M; Yasa N; Naqinezhad A; Ahvazi M, 2004. Review of Centella asiatica (L.) urban. Journal of Medicinal Plants, 3(12):1-8. http://www.imp.ac.ir

      Techen N; Joshi VC; Rumalla CS; Khan IA, 2011. Validation of the medicinal plant Centella asiatica (l.) Urb. and detection of its possible substitutes. Planta Medica, 77:10.

      Thong-on W; Arimatsu P; Pitiporn S; Soonthornchareonnon N; Prathanturarug S, 2014. Field evaluation of in vitro-induced tetraploid and diploid Centella asiatica (L.) urban. Journal of Natural Medicines, 68(2):267-273. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11418-013-0761-4

      Tsai WF; Chang SS; Wang SM, 1987. Weed control by ethylenediamine and isopropylamine salts of glyphosate. Memoirs of the College of Agriculture, National Taiwan University, 27(1):8-14.

      University of Hawaii, 1991. Studies in montane bogs of Haleakala National Park. Technical Report 76-78. Hawaii, USA: Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit of University of Hawaii at Manoa, 33.

      USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

      USDA-NRCS, 2014. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

      Virtue JG; Sutton BG; Cousens RD; Murtagh GJ, 1993. Weed interference in tea tree plantations. In: Proceedings I of the 10th Australian Weeds Conference and 14th Asian Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 6-10 September, 1993 [ed. by Wilson, B. J.\Swarbrick, J. T.]. Queensland, Australia: Queensland Weed Society, 261-264.

      Watson MF, 1999. Family 144. Umbelliferae. In: Flora of Bhutan, 2(2) [ed. by Grierson, A. J. C. \Long, D. G.]. Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 434-504.

      WHO, 1999. WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. Volume 1. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, v + 289 pp.

      Zhang XG; Han T; He ZG; Zhang QY; Zhang L; Rahman K; Qin LP, 2012. Genetic diversity of Centella asiatica in China analyzed by inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers: combination analysis with chemical diversity. Journal of Natural Medicines, 66(1):241-247. http://www.springerlink.com/content/5168518q838jv03n/

      Distribution References

      CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

      CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

      Dangwal L R, Antima Sharma, Amandeep Singh, Rana C S, Tajinder Singh, 2011. Weed flora of S.R.T. Campus Badshahi Thaul Tehri Garhwal (H.N.B. Garhwal Central University, Uttarakhand), India. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research. 17 (4), 387-396. http://www.wssp.org.pk/174-10.pdf

      Devi M R, Madhavan S, Baskaran A, Thangaratham T, 2015. Ethno medicinal aspects of weeds from paddy field in Thiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu, India. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 4 (11), 1909-1920. http://www.wjpr.net/dashboard/abstract_id/4153

      EOL, 2014. Encylopedia of Life., http://eol.org/

      Fernald ML, 1940. Some spermatophytes of eastern North America. In: Rhodora, 42 281-302.

      Galanihe L D, Jayasundera M U P, Vithana A, Asselaarachchi N, Watson G W, 2010. Occurrence, distribution and control of papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), an invasive alien pest in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension. 13 (3), 81-86. http://www.sljol.info/index.php/TARE/article/view/3143/2522

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      Islam F, Bhattacharjee S C, Hossain A, Islam S, Mahmud A S M, Ahmed Y, Rahman M, 2013. Assessment of copper in diverse pulses, bananas, vegetables and arums of five upazila of Chittagong area in Bangladesh by spectro-photometric method. International Food Research Journal. 20 (4), 1867-1871. http://www.ifrj.upm.edu.my/20%20(04)%202013/49%20IFRJ%2020%20(04)%202013%20Faridul%20(262).pdf

      Kiran G G R, Rao A S, 2013. Survey of weed flora in transplanted rice in Krishna agroclimatic zone of Andhra Pradesh, India. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research. 19 (1), 45-51. http://www.wssp.org.pk/4-19-1-45-51.pdf

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      USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

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      Watson MF, 1999. Family 144. Umbelliferae. In: Flora of Bhutan, 2 (2) [ed. by Grierson AJC, Long DG]. Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 434-504.

      Wibowo T, Iskandar E A P, 2013. Broadleaved weeds in turf grass blocks of Cibodas Botanic Garden, Cianjur, Indonesia [Conference poster]. In: The role of weed science in supporting food security by 2020. Proceedings of the 24th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Bandung, Indonesia, October 22-25, 2013 [The role of weed science in supporting food security by 2020. Proceedings of the 24th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Bandung, Indonesia, October 22-25, 2013.], [ed. by Bakar B H, Kurniadie D, Tjitrosoedirdjo S]. Bandung, Indonesia: Weed Science Society of Indonesia. 578-582.

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      Contributors

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      12/06/14 Original text by:

      Chris Parker, consultant, UK

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