Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Both Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) and native Violet (Viola hederacea) have very similar leaves and growth habits.

Fine if the native Violet is flowering, there is no doubt.

The most obvious difference to me is that Gotu Kola in general prefers the sun where native Violet rarely grows in the sun.

A secondary difference is the Gotu Kola leaves have a different serration to the native Violet leaves. And Gotu Kola is generally a more tough leaf where the Violet's leaves are very soft.

Not exactly scientific but the best I can do. Some pix may (or may not!) make any more clarity.

Leaf comparison:

Native violet LEFT; Gotu Kola RIGHT.

Native Violet growing in the shade.

Gotu Kola growing in the sun.

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Replies to This Discussion

I also have a ground cover which looks a lot like GK but I keep forgetting the name.

Bring a sample Lissa, I might get lucky and find and id. Could it be Dichondra repens? Reputed to grow well in the shade, has a kidney-shaped leaf and tiny greenish flowers. Supposedly an Australian native.

Dichondra that's the one. No flowers on mine that I have ever seen. Looks just like Gotu Kola but I bought it years back and planted it under the clothes line so I know it's not.

As I recall (and I grew it in the mistaken belief it grew in the shade), the leaf was kidney-shaped without any serrations.

Follow the link above on the word "Dichondra" Elaine. Looks just like Gotu Kola without the serrations. Easy to miss for the untrained eye.

Just occurred to me that they might?? be edible otherwise you could do yourself some damage eating the wrong plant.

Here's some shots of the Gotu Kola flowers. You can see them at this time of the year, when a runner goes over hard ground or air, otherwise the flowers are difficult to find.

Wow! Will have to check mine. Red flowers - whoda thunk? The Dichondra's flowers are I think, little and green.

I've never looked at either closely enough to verify. Will try to remember to do.

This one was purchased from either Nova Gardens or Bunnings in August 2014. It first went into the Aquaponics growbed, and some of it was transferred to the first wicking bed late last year.

It is identified/listed as Centella asiatica and sold as Arthritis Herb / Pennywort.

Here is a front and back shot of the card. I can bring some 1 week old potted runners to Andy's GV, they have strong tap roots, and only 1 or 2 first new leaves.

I see what you mean, Lissa. I've not seen the plant for many years, senior moment ;-) By the looks, it is not native to Australia. At the time it became popular, probably in the 80s, it was available as seed in small tubs. Have not seen it since then as seed. Edible - probably. Closely related to Sweet Potato so a good chance it's worth a whirl. Just chew up one leaf and see what happens. I doubt it would have been so widely available had it been toxic.

Having spent the last month getting over severe abdominal pain, tiredness and trots not to mention loss of pay for days off, I'll give that one a miss on this occasion.

I'm willing to give it a whirl if you'd like to bring along some leaves.

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GrowVetiver

Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.


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