Scaevola taccada   (Gaertn.) Roxb.  (Plant)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Equisetopsida

Image copyrights: P. Goltra

Size: up to 3 meters.

Is a dense, spreading shrub. The light green leaves are somewhat succulent with a waxy covering and are alternately arranged along the stem. The blades are elongated and rounded at the tips, 5 to 20 cm long and 5 to 7 cm wide and the edges are often curled downward. The flowers are white or cream colored, often with purple streaks, 8 - 12 mm long, and have a pleasant fragrance. They have an irregular shape with all five petals on one side of the flower making it appear to have been torn in half. The flowers grow in small clusters from the leaf axils near the ends of the stems. The fruits of Scaevola taccada are fleshy berries. They are white, oblong, and about 1 cm long. The seeds are beige, corky and ridged. The inside of the fruit is spongy or corky and the fruits are buoyant. They can float for months in the ocean and still germinate after having been in salt water for up to a year. One study showed that the seeds germinated best after 250 days in salt water.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Sandy


• Kerala INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar, Hare Island INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Krusadai Island INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Rodrigues, RS; Mascarenhas, A; Jagtap, TG (2011) An evaluation of flora from coastal sand dunes of India: Rationale for conservation and management Ocean & Coastal Management Elsevier B.V. 54(2) 181-188 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Stoddart, DR and Fosberg, FR (1972) South Indian sand cays Atoll Research Bulletin 161 1-25 Available at -
  • National Tropical Botanical Garden Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-03-23

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