Scientific name

Gratiola L.

Common names

hedge hyssop



Could be confused with

Limnophila, Pogostemon, Proserpinaca

Native distribution

temperate regions and montane tropical regions

Species commonly cultivated

Gratiola officinalis L. (Europe)

G. peruviana L. (South America)

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

occasional weed


submersed and emergent attached stem plant

Brief description

Annual or perennial. Stems ascending or erect, new shoots arising from basal stem appearing jointed. Leaves opposite, decussate, evenly spaced along stem, sessile; leaf blade ovate-lanceolate to linear; margin serrate. Inflorescence axillary. Flowers solitary, pedicellate; sepals 5, green, unequal; petals fused, 2-lipped, lobes 5, unequal, white. Dispersal by seed or stem fragments.

Natural habitat

shallow water and wet ground

Additional comments

Gratiola contains approximately 20 species, of which only G. officinalis and G. peruviana are sometimes cultivated for ponds. Gratiola officinalis is widely used as a medicinal herb and is protected in France.