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Bacopa caroliniana


Bacopa caroliniana (Walter) B.L. Rob.

Family Name: Plantaginaceae
Synonyms: Adenosma amplexicaulis, Adenosma caroliniana, Adenosma amplexicaulis, Obolaria caroliniana
Common Name: Lemon Bacopa, Blue Hyssop, Water Hyssop, Giant Red Bacopa


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Aquatic & Hydrophyte (Emergent Aquatic, Submerged Aquatic), Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 10 cm to 30 cm
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 3 cm to 4 cm


Native Distribution Southern USA
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Temperate
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Spontaneous (Naturalised))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Creeping herb up to 0.3 m tall.
Foliage Oblong, fleshy leaves are densely arranged in pairs along short, ascending stems. Crushed leaves produce a lemon-like scent.
Flowers Small, light blue flowers are composed of 4-5 obovate petals.
Fruit Smooth, hairless fruit is egg-shaped.
Taxonomy Latest family name (APGII) is Plantaginaceae. Formerly placed in: Gratiolaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Geronicaceae.
Cultivation This species is often planted in aquariums, but it can be grown submerged or emergent. The leaves become reddish under bright light. It tolerates drought and could be planted in bioswales. This slow-growing, low maintenance plant looks best when planted in small groups. It grows in freshwater or brackish water (salty water that is less salty than seawater). 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Leaves
Food (Herb or Spice): Edible leaves are sometimes used as a garnish.
Medicinal: According to folk medicine, a leaf infusion can be taken to treat respiratory problems, like chronic cough and shortness of breath.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Riverine, Pond / Lake / River, Aquarium / Aquascape
Thematic Landscaping Butterfly Garden, Water Garden, Bioswales / Sunken Garden, Naturalistic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Rootzone Tolerance Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site)
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Hairy / Hirsute, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Sessile
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Truncate / Square

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Aboveground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple

Image Repository



Master ID 417
Species ID 1713
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2022.