Scientific name

Staurogyne Wall.



Native distribution

tropical regions of Africa, America, Asia and Australia

Species cultivated

(three species plus cultivated varieties and hybrids)

Staurogyne repens (Nees) Kuntze

S. rubescens Braz & R.Monteiro

S. leptocaulis Leonard [synonym of S. spraguei Wassh.]

An additional unknown species: Staurogyne sp. 'Bihar' was originally thought to be a species of Hygrophila.

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

not weedy


emergent, seasonally or artificially submerged, amphibious, herbs and undershrubs

Brief description

Small to medium herb; emersed and submersed forms often differ morphologically. Stems erect or decumbent, branched or not; vegetative and reproductive parts glabrous to glandular-hairy. Leaves usually opposite but uppermost leaves sometimes alternate, intergrading with bracts; sessile or petiolate; leaf blade variable within a single plant: typically elliptic, ovate, or lanceolate, and may be greatly dissected in submersed forms. Inflorescence an axillary or terminal raceme or spike; bracts leaf-like; bracteolate. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic; calyx lobes 5, equal or unequal; corolla tube 2-lipped, 5-lobed, subequal, widening at throat; stigmas typically with 2 equal or unequal lobes; white to purple.

Natural habitat

shaded and wet habitats, creeks, river banks, and drier parts of floodplains

Additional comments

Staurogyne contains 50 species. The commonly cultivated aquarium species are mainly native to Brazil. The identity of many species in the trade is uncertain and species names applied with caution. Staurogyne sp. 'Bihar' is a variable species for which the species name is not known.