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Family Hydrophyllaceae
Ceylon hydrolea
Hydrolea zeylanica (Linn.) Vahl

Tian ji ma

Scientific names Common names
Hydrolea zeylanica (Linn.) Vahl. Ceylon hydrolea (Engl.)
Hydrolea arayatensis Blanco Blue water leaf (Engl.)
Hydrolea inermis Loureiro Water olive (Engl.)
Hydrolea javanica Blume  
Nama zeylanca Linn.  

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Isa-langulia, Kasschra.
CHINESE: Tian ji ma.
HINDI: Koliary, Langali.
MALAYALAM: Cheruvallel.
MARATHI: Popti, Keriti.
SANSKRIT: Langali.
TAMIL: Vellel

Hydrolea zeylanica is an annual, ascending or procumbent, sparingly branched, nearly smooth herb, a few centimeters to 1.2 meters in length, and rooting at the lower nodes. Leaves are lanceolate, 2 to 12 centimeters long, 6 to 12 millimeters wide, and pointed at both ends. Flowers are very numerous, bright blue, and borne in racemes. Sepals are hairy, green, oblong-linear, and about 5 millimeters long. Corolla is 8 to 10 millimeters in diameter, with ovate lobes. Fruit is a capsule, ovoid, 4 millimeters long, surrounded by the persistent calyx-lobes, and contains numerous, minute, oblong seeds, less than 0.5 millimeters long.

- Found in northern Luzon to Mindoro, probably in most islands and provinces, in open wet places, often common in rice paddies as a weed.
- Also occurs in Indian to China and through Malaya to tropical Australia.

- Shoots yield flavanoids - kaempferol and quercetin.
- Study of flavonoid content of shoots showed: total flavonoids, 10.1/100 g fw, dry matter 18.3, quercetin 2.2, kaempferol 7.9. (3)

Considered to have antiseptic properties.

Parts used


- Considered edible, but underutilized.
- Leaves, beaten into a pulp, used as poultice to facilitate healing of neglected and callous ulcers.
- In southern Assam, India, leaves and twigs used for diabetes. (1)
- In Ayurveda, leaf poultice used for ulcers.

No studies found.


Last Update January 2014

IMAGE SOURCE: / Flower close-up / Hydrolea zeylanica / Dinesh Valke / November 1, 2008 / Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic / click on image to go to source page / flickr
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration /Hydrolea zeylanica (L.) Vahl / Wight, R., Illustrations of Indian botany, vol. 2: t. 167 (1850) [Goovindo] / Illustration contributed by the Missouri Botanical Garden, U.S.A. / PlantIllustrations.org
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Some Anti-Diabetic Plants of Southern Assam / G Banik, M Bawari et al / Assam University Journal of Science & Technology : Biological and Environmental Sciences Vol. 5 Number I 114-119, 2010
Ceylon Hydrolea / Common names / Flowers of India
Content and distribution of flavonoids among 91 edible plant species / Ray-Yu Yang PhD, Shou Lin BSc and George Kuo PhD / Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008;17(S1):275-279

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