Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Boerhavia diffusa L. var. diffusa

Boerhavia diffusa var diffusa


Family: Nyctaginaceae
Full name: Boerhavia diffusa L. var. diffusa
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Rooikleefbossie
English common name(s): Spiderling, Red spiderling
Synonym(s): Boerhavia adscendens Willd.
Boerhavia africana Lour.
Boerhavia paniculata Rich.
Boerhavia repens L. var. diffusa (L.) Hook.f.
Commicarpus africanus (Lour.) Dandy
Status: Native
Description: Annual or perennial, prostrate, ascending or erect herb up to 1 m, sometimes with a thick taproot. Stems fleshy, woody towards the base, sparsely pubescent to densely covered with long septate hairs, the nodes swollen. Leaves broadly ovate to lanceolate, up to 5.5x5.5 cm, green above, pale green to greyish white beneath, sometimes tinged purple or spotted red, often pubescent on both surfaces and sometimes with long septate hairs, the base truncate to cuneate, the apex rounded to acute. Inflorescences both axillary and terminal, simple and aggregated, (3–)5–7(–14)-flowered cymes; branches densely pubescent to sparingly minutely puberulous, never glabrous; axillary peduncles (1–)1.5–4.5 cm long. Perianth 1.5–3.5 mm long; upper portion pale pink to purple, rarely white, 1–1.5 mm long. Stamens 2–3, slightly exserted. Ovary 0.5 mm; style slightly exserted. Anthocarp obovoid to ellipsoid, 3–4x1–1.5 mm, 5-ribbed, glandular-pubescent. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Tropical East Africa)

Annual or perennial herb, viscid. Stems long, slender, woody at base, decumbent, diffuse or prostrate, glabrate to puberulent. Leaves opposite; petiolate, petioles (8–) 17 (–33) mm long; leaves elliptic, lanceolate, ovate, oblong, orbicular or obovate, (18–) 35 (–61) x (11–) 25 (–46) mm; apex apiculate, acuminate, rounded or obtuse; base shortly attenuate or obtuse; margins entire, sometimes undulate; green above, paler green below; glabrous with long septate hairs along the margins and scattered along the veins. Inflorescence pedunculate, primary peduncles (60–) 105 (–150) mm long, secondary peduncles (25–) 42 (–60) mm long; compound cyme; glabrate; bracteate. Flowers 2–5 in a cluster; pedicellate, pedicels 1 mm long; flower (2–) 2.1 (–3) mm long, bisexual. Perianth divided into a lower and upper part; lower part 1 mm long, green, coriaceous, constricted above ovary, elliptic-clavate, 5-ribbed, glandular hairs present, persistent; upper part (1–) 1.1 (–2) mm long, campanulate, petaloid, pink, purple or maroon; caduceus after anthesis. Stamens 2 or 3, slightly exserted, 1.5–2.5 mm long; filaments filiform, connate at base forming a short sheath around ovary; anthers dithecous. Ovary ellipsoid, 0.5 mm long, stipitate; style 1–1.5 mm long, filiform, exserted; stigma capitate. Anthocarp (3–) 3.4 (–4) x (1–) 1.4 (–2) mm; 5-ribbed, elliptic-clavate; ribs indented near apex, apex ends in a pointed tip; glandular hairs present on the ribs. (from Struwig PhD thesis)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 23 Mar 2008
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/500 s
ISO speed: -
Content last updated: 18 Apr 2024

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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Last updated 18 Apr 2024

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