Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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  Home   >   Flora   >   List of families   >   List of genera   >   List of species   >   Amaranthaceae / Alternanthera pungens

Alternanthera pungens Kunth


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Alternanthera pungens

Image 1
Leaves and flowers
20 Dec 2008

Alternanthera pungens

Image 2
Leaves and flowers
10 Apr 2009

Alternanthera pungens

Image 3
Habit
21 Mar 2008

Alternanthera pungens

Image 4
Flower
21 Dec 2008

Alternanthera pungens

Image 5
Habit
22 Apr 2011



Family: Amaranthaceae
Full name: Alternanthera pungens Kunth
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Kakiedubbeltjie
English common name(s): Khaki weed, Khakiweed, Paper thorns
Synonym(s): Achyranthes repens L.
Alternanthera achyrantha (L.) Sweet
Alternanthera achyrantha R.Br.
Alternanthera echinata Sm.
Alternanthera repens (L.) Link - non J.F.Gmel.
Illecebrum achyrantha L.
Illecebrum obliquum Schumach. fide Fl. Trop. Africa 6(1): 74 (1909).
Status: Alien
Description: Prostrate, mat-forming herb, growing from a tap root. Stems rooting at the nodes. Inflorescences somewhat spiny, due to long bracteoles and awns on the tepals. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

Prostrate perennial with a stout, vertical rootstock, also rooting at the lower nodes, much-branched from the base outwards to form mats up to c. 1 m across. Stem and branches at first densely villous with long white hairs, later glabrescent. Leaves broadly rhomboid-ovate to obovate, 1.5–4.5 x 0.3–2.7 cm, rounded or subacute at the apex with the mucro frequently bristle-like when young, attenuate below, glabrous or rather thinly appressed-hairy. Inflorescences sessile, commonly 2–3 together, 0.5–1.5 x 0.5–1 cm, globose to shortly cylindrical. Tepals extremely dissimilar: outer 2 (abaxial) deltoid-lanceolate, c. 5 mm, with a spinous arista; inner (adaxial) oblong, flat, c. 3 mm, strongly dentate at the apex, mucro short and fine; lateral tepals c. 2 mm, sinuate in lateral view with the two sides connivent; all tepals with tufts of glochidiate, barbellate hairs. Stamens 5, all with anthers, pseudostaminodes broad and quadrate or shorter, entire to dentate. Style as wide as or wider than long. Fruit roundish, c. 2 mm, rounded to retuse at the tip. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Somalia)

Prostrate, mat-forming perennial herb with a stout vertical rootstock, also rooting at the lower nodes, much-branched from the base outwards, mats up to c. 1 m across. Stem and branches terete, striate, stout to more slender, more or less densely villous with long, white hairs but frequently glabrescent with age. Leaves broadly rhomboid-ovate to broadly elliptic or obovate, 1.5–4.5 x 0.3–2.7 cm, rounded to subacute at the apex with a mucro which in the young leaves is often fine and bristle-like, narrowed below to a petiole up to 1 cm long, glabrous or thinly appressed-pilose on both surfaces, especially on the lower surface of the primary venation. Inflorescences sessile, axillary, solitary or more commonly 2–3 together, globose to shortly cylindrical, 0.5–1.5 cm long and 0.5–1 cm wide; bracts membranous, white or stramineous, 4–5 mm long, deltoid-ovate, glabrous, marginally ciliate or dorsally pilose, distinctly aristate with the excurrent midrib, more or less denticulate around the upper margin; bracteoles similar but smaller, 3–4 mm long, falling with the fruit. Tepals extremely dissimilar; the 2 outer (abaxial) deltoid-lanceolate, 5 mm long, denticulate above, very rigid, 5-nerved below (the intermediate pair much shorter and finer), outer 2 nerves meeting above to join the pungently excurrent midrib, which forms a long arista c. one third of the length of the entire tepal; inner (adaxial) tepal oblong, flat, 3 mm, blunt and strongly dentate at the apex, 3-nerved below but the nerves meeting well below the apex and the apical mucro short and fine; lateral tepals c. 2 mm long, sinuate in lateral view with the two sides of the lamina connivent and denticulate above, sharply mucronate; abaxial and adaxial petals with small tufts of glochidiate and barbed whitish bristles about the basal angles, the lateral tepals each with a large tuft about the centre of the midrib. Stamens 5, all with anthers, at anthesis subequalling or slightly exceeding the ovary and style, the alternating pseudostaminodes broad, subquadrate or shorter, entire to dentate. Ovary compressed, squat, style very short, as wide as or wider than long. Fruit orbicular, rounded to retuse above, 0.2 mm long. Seed discoid, c. 1.25 mm in diam., brown, shining, faintly reticulate. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Zambesiaca)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iSpot:  179961 
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 21 Mar 2018


Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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