Gotu Kola, Spadeleaf

Centella asiatica

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Centella (ken-TEL-uh) (Info)
Species: asiatica (a-see-AT-ee-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Hydrocotyle asiatica




Ponds and Aquatics

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Budapest, Budapest

Berkeley, California

Merced, California

Bunnell, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Kenner, Louisiana

New Albany, Ohio

Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

Plano, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Sugar Land, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 27, 2011, CaptFrame from Kenner, LA wrote:

I live a little to the West of New Orleans, in Kenner, Louisiana.
I have been growing Gotu Kola here for well over 35 years. I always winter a couple of plants inside when it freezes but it is now growing wild in my grass and garden as well. But a really deep freeze does seem to kill it.
If you live in a hot dry area try growing it in a 5 gallon bucket with a 5 gal. water jug with the bottom cut off on top. It doesn't like air conditioning much/ too cool and dry. The stems will get very long if the soil is deep in \ the bucket. It likes hot, sunny and humid. A local lady I know grows it in a wheel barrow and rolls the whole thing inside when it's too hot or cold. She uses lots of it in making tea and adding to salads. As earlier stated by others it's kinda grows like strawb... read more


On May 12, 2010, cianoy from Springfield, MA wrote:

I have mixed experience with this. One of my Gotu Kola plants is barely surviving; I have another one that's thriving and sending runners out. I'm not sure why because I give them the same treatment.


On Apr 6, 2009, mrao77 from Plano, TX wrote:

Also known as "brahmi", this plant is known to be medicinal and is used to boost healty hair growth in hair oils. Also, used as a digestive.


On Nov 19, 2007, baroness from Pagadian City,
Philippines wrote:

This plant has become famous in the Philippines for its proven medicinal effects for arthritis and hypertension. . . People are eating 2 to 3 leaves a day to reduce arthritic pains. It also has sedative effects on others. So, if you're an insomniac, it is advised that you eat 2-3 leaves before going to bed. . . Gotu kola has become an almost cure for all herb. . . For me, it improves mental acuity. I just eat 1 leaf in the morning and 1 leaf before going to bed and I feel great!


On May 2, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant was once highly touted on the west coast as a means of preventing aging. It tastes much like parsley and is said to be high in B vitamins and is a diuretic. Easily propagated from daughter plants and grows much the same as strawberries. Easy to grow in the south from seeds started in the spring or fall. Needs bright shade and ample water and may be invasive in the south. Also known as Indian pennywort, elephant plant, and marshpenny.


On Jun 11, 2005, prometeo21 from Mayaguez, PR (Zone 11) wrote:

Grows really well in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Needs lots of water but likes full sun. Can tolerate semi-shade. Needs space to grow better. Many people use raw Gotu Kola for medicinally purposes in salads or sandwiches (just a few leaves) and also make infusions from the fresh or dried leaves. Scientific researchs found that the plant improve legs circulation and memory.


On Sep 9, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Centella asiatica is the base of popular medicines against cellulitis and other superficial skin disorders, as well as antiinflammatory.


On Sep 9, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Centella asiatica is a very wide rangng subtropical stoloniferous herb - from the coastal plain of the SE United States south through South America, and in southeast Asia, perhaps elsewhere. American plants are sometimes segregated as Centella erecta. It is very common on the coastal plain of the SE U.S. in a wide variety of moist to wet open areas, both in natural habitats and in disturbed or weedy areas. It is a common "weed" in my lawn but I really don't try to get rid of it, as the effort would be futile without lots of chemicals!


On Apr 1, 2004, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I found four of these at a local nursery, but they could not tell me much about them. Three wintered well in the winter greenhouse sitting in a bird bath full of water but was a bit leggy in spring. One wintered in a birdbath outside in speckled shade, also in a bird bath full of water, and was much more compact. Supposedly highly valued for it's medicinal factors. Growing information is scarce. Aka Asiatic Pennywort or Spadeleaf. Tendrils grew into the water and started roots.