Hawaiian Names with Diacritics
- Baby tears
- Dwarf bacopa
- Water hyssop
- Bramia monnieri
- Gratiola monnieria
- Herpestes fauriei
- Herpestes monnieri
- Lysimachia monnieri
Endangered Species Status
Plant Form / Growth Habit
- Non-Woody, Clumping
- Non-Woody, Spreading
Mature Size, Height (in feet)
- Herbaceous, Short, Less than 1
Mature Size, Width
1 to 4 feet wide.
Long lived (Greater than 5 years)
- Erosion Control
- Ground Cover
- Water Features
Additional Landscape Use Information
In the landscape, with good lighting ʻaeʻae does well with light foot traffic or planted between stepping stones. Grows well as filler plant in mixed planters or as a small house plant.
ʻAeʻae is capable of growing directly in the water and in water features sometimes producing free floating mats. But do use fertilizers in aquatic settings as this can cause excessive algae. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]
In large pots or as a groundcover, when provided with full to part sun, generous watering and fertlizer at half strength, ʻaeʻae will spread rapidly. 
Source of Fragrance
- No Fragrance
Plant Produces Flowers
- Year Round
- Light Green
Additional Pest & Disease Information
Slugs and snails.
Fertilize regularly with organic fertilizers. Plants are not heavy feeders, so applying fertilizers at half the recommended strength will suffice. Use well composted manure or slow release fertilizers.
ʻAeʻae is sensitive to iron deficiency and indicate this by chlorotic (yellowing or whitening) leaves. Regular applications of iron chelate in liquid or granule forms should be applied for greener growth. Iron sulfate may be used as well but leaves should always be washed off soon after application. [4,5]
Do not use fertilizers in pond or aquarium settings, unless it is specifically designed for aquatic settings, or it may produce an abundance of algae.
Trim regularly to keep plants neat. Will tolerate mowing or string trimming.
Additional Water Information
Needs regular moisture, particularly for roots to establish and will grow directly in fresh or slightly brackish water or along the banks of water features such as streams, ponds or aquariums. 
ʻAeʻae are not drought tolerate plants.
Soil must be well drained
- Full sun
- Partial sun
Additional Lighting Information
The more sun, the stockier the plants. Too much shade causes longer internodes, that is to say, the leaves will be more spaced out, creating a looser appearance.
Plant 6 inches to several feet apart.
- Waterlogged Soil
- Brackish Water
- Salt Spray
These sprawling plants may grow up and over other vegetation and can tend to be weedy under optimal growing conditions. Trim back as necessary to control growth.
Special Growing Needs
Always provide moisture for this plant.
- Northwest Islands
Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)
- Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)
- Less than 150, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
- Less than 150, Greater than 100 (Wet)
- 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
- 150 to 1000, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
- 150 to 1000, Greater than 100 (Wet)
Additional Habitat Information
ʻAeʻae is found in a variety of habitats from mud flats, bare sandstone, sand, rocks, marshes, and brackish stream shores. In the Northwest Islands, it is naturally found only on Midway Atoll (Pihemanu).
Though some Bacopa species are commonly known as Water hyssop, this name is actually misleading because they are not closely related to hyssop which belong to the Mint family (Lamiaceae). Rather, Bacopa, or ʻaeʻae, are members of the Plantaginaceae or Plantain family which include foxglove (Digitalis), snapdragon (Antirrhinum), hebe (Hebe), and pysllium (Plantago pysillium), but exclude a banana relative also called plaintain (Musa).
The genus Bacopa is a Latinized form of the aboriginal name of these plants used by the indigenous people of French Guana.
The specific epithet monnieri is probably named for the French naturalist Louis-Guillaume Le Monnier (1717-1799). [7,8]
ʻAeʻae is a Niʻihau and the one generally used locally for this species.
ʻAeʻae provide an excellent habitat and hiding places for invertebrates that serve as a food source for native waterfowl such as ʻalae ʻula or Hawaiian moorhen and ʻalae keʻokeʻo or Hawaiian coot.
Early Hawaiian Use
Use by early Hawaiians is unknown as yet. But they would have certainly encountered these plants.
Ouside of Hawaiʻi:
The whole herb is used medicinally in India in a variety of ways. It is grown as a medicinal crop and is being research for antioxidant properties, to help the nervous system, and to improve memory and mental functions. [1,2,3]
 http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/bramhi.html [accessed 1/12/09]
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12093601?dopt=AbstractPlus [accessed 1/12/09]
 http://content.nhiondemand.com/psv/monoAll-style.asp?objID=100165&ctype=ds&mtyp=1 [accessed 1/12/09]
 "Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants" by Peter Hiscock, page 132.
 The Paul Ecke Ranch, The Flowers Fields online .pdf cultural sheet for Bacopa.
 "Container Gardening in Hawaii" by Janice Crowl, page 51.
 "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Indian Ocean Islands" by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim & Thomas Brendler, page 136.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Guillaume_Le_Monnier [accessed 11/10/10]
Back to Plant List
Other Nursery Profiles for Bacopa monnieri