Limnophila aromatica, Limnophila chinensis var. aromatica
Limnophila aromatica is native to Southeast Asia where it flourishes in hot temps and grows in wet environments, usually in flooded rice fields. Limnophila aromatica is called ngò om or ngổ in Vietnam and used as an herb. Limnophila aromatica has a flavor and aroma like that of both lemon and cumin. Cumin is a worldwide spice, however, many people easily remember the flavor of Cumin since it is the flavor most likely detected in enchilada sauce in Mexican food. So mix that up with some lemon juice and there is your Rice Paddy herb flavor. Limnophila aromatica is used most often in Vietnamese cuisine. Limnophila aromatica is an ingredient in canh chua which is a sweet & sour seafood soup which also includes tamarind,not to be confused with ngò gai which is also added as an accompaniment to the noodle soup called phở. This is hopefully not getting complicated? In Thai cuisine it is also known as phak kayang and is also used to make Om. Ok, now that many people are hungry, let’s get back top the aquatic plant and why we want in in our water garden pond, aquaponic system or aquarium…….
Limnophila aromatica was formerly classified as a member of the figwort family: Scrophulariaceae, but that is incorrect, and is now classified in plantain family, Plantaginaceae. The Rice Paddy is a stem or bunched aquatic plant. It requires moderate to high lighting in the aquarium, and is considered a more advanced difficulty to grow but also is known to be a very slow growing plant in the first place. Ideally it would be placed in the background of the aquarium to fill voids in the tank, yet offering a splash of color to an area. This plant looks quite a bit different when grown out of water (emersed) as you can see by the 2nd pic. Limnophila aromatica emersed form grows much quicker and is easier to grow than submerged (underwater).