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Common Mare's-tail - Hippuris vulgaris




Hippuris vulgaris is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.[PFAF]
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers wet soil and can grow in water.[PFAF]


USDA Flower Colour: Green
USDA Blooming Period: Late Spring
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics:

Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall [1.1]

Key to the Species and Taxonomic Notes

1. Stems 1.5-8 (10) cm tall, less than 1 mm wide; leaves 2-6 (10) mm long.......................H. montana
1. stems 10-40 cm tall, 1.5-5 mm wide; leaves 6-30 (50) mm long.
2. Leaves elliptic to oblong or egg-shaped, and blunt-tipped, 6-15 mm long, 2-8 mm wide, 4-6 (8) per whorl.............................H. tetraphylla
2. Leaves linear and slender-tipped, 6-30 (50) mm long, 1-2 mm wide, (6) 8-12 per whorl...............................H. vulgaris [1.3]


Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Use In Tibetan Medicine
The plant is also known under the names ljang lo chig skye and rtswa mngar. The syn. rtswa mngar means sweet grass and refers to its sweet taste. In the shel gong shel phreng[1], no types are mentioned, whereas two types are recognized by mkhyen rab nor bu[2]. He differentiates between a superior type, dam bu ka ra mchog, and an inferior one,dam bu ka ra dman pa. Both types grow in water. While the inferior type resembles an onion plant, the superior one looks like a monkey's tail.
The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes.
The sweet nature of dam bu ka ra is neutral, the taste is sweet, the quality is blunt and the secondary qualities are smooth and flexible.
All parts of the plant are applied to treat various hot diseases such as - glo tshad, a disease affecting the lungs; - rtsa tshad, a disorder of the nerves; - mchin tshad, a liver disease; - rus tshad, a disease affecting the bones, as wellas hot - bad kan smug po diseases. It is also used internally as a wound-healing remedy in cases of weapon injuries to the lungs.[Kletter&Kriechbaum]


Hippuris vulgare - Hippuridaceae [DukePhyto]
Chemical/Part/Lo ppm/Hi ppm/Reference
AUCUBIN - Plant 3-15ppm [PC36:927]

Nutritional Information


  • Cultivation: Requires a wet soil or shallow water, preferring one that is base-rich[17]. Dislikes shade. Plants have a spreading root system and can be very invasive[1].[PFAF]
  • Propagation: Seed. We have no details on this species but suggest sowing it as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The plant spreads vegetatively so vigorously, however, that you probably won't have to worry about growing it from seed. Division in spring. Division is very easy and can be carried out at any time in the growing season. The divisions can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.[PFAF]


  • [E-flora] Hippuris vulgaris, vulgaris&redblue=Both&lifeform=7, [Accessed: 11/5/2014]
  • [3] ,, Accessed on April 23, 2014.
  • [DukePhyt], Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. [Online Database] Feb 11, 2015.
  • [EESC] The effects of emersion on soluble carbohydrate accumulations in Hippuris vulgaris L., Georg A. Janauer, Peter Englmaier, Aquatic Botany Volume 24, Issue 3, June 1986, Pages 241โ€“248
  • [Kadereit] Flowering Plants ยท Dicotyledons: Lamiales (Except Acanthaceae Including ...edited by Joachim W. Kadereit, 2004, Springer-Verlag, Germany
  • [Kletter&Kriechbaum] Tibetan Medicinal Plants, edited by Christa Kletter, Monika Kriechbaum, 2001, Medpharm scientific publishers, Germany
  • [PFAF] Hippuris vulgaris Plants for a future, Accessed November 5, 2014
  • [Quattrocchi] CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names ...By Umberto Quattrocchi, CRC Press, 2012, Boca Raton, FL
  • [UMD-Eth]Accessed Feb 11, 2015,
    • (1)Heller, Christine A. 1953 Edible and Poisonous Plants of Alaska. University of Alaska (p. 135)
    • (2)Ager, Thomas A. and Lynn Price Ager 1980 Ethnobotany of The Eskimos of Nelson Island, Alaska. Arctic Anthropology 27:26-48 (p. 37)
    • (3)Wilson, Michael R. 1978 Notes on Ethnobotany in Inuktitut. The Western Canadian Journal of Anthropology 8:180-196 (p. 191)

The information presented on this site is provided for educational purposes. Self diagnosis and treatment, without due diligence, could be harmful and is not encouraged. Some information & images may be copyright. Every effort has been made to present the information in the spirit with which it was originally presented. Some data has been omitted for legal and/or practical consideration. There is some data not covered in the scope of this project, including, but not limited to, cell culture and large-dose animal studies. I have made comparisons and links between related species which may later prove erroneous. I have not verified the information for accuracy and I accept no responsibility for its authenticity. Many of the plants presented are poisonous, have poisonous properties, or could cause illness through misuse, allergic reaction, drug interactions and environmental contaminants. Please use caution and mindfulness when harvesting plants for any use.

Page last modified on 27-08-2016