Sunday, August 21, 2011

Devil's horsewhip - Achyranthes aspera L.

Achyranthes aspera Common name: Prickly Chaff Flower, Devil's whip, is a plant species of the family Amaranthaceae. It is distributed throughout the tropical world. It can be found in many places more and more like an introduced species and a common weed. It is an invasive species in some areas, including many Pacific Island environments.

It is one of 21 sheets used in the Ganesh Pooja Patra regularly on Ganesh Chaturthi day. In Uttar Pradesh the plant is used for many medicinal purposes, including obstetrics and gynecology, including abortion, labor induction, and the cessation of postpartum hemorrhage. The Maasai people of Kenya to use herbal medicine to treat malaria.
A perennial herb (sometimes woody and somewhat suffrutescent), occasionally flowering in the first year, 0.2 to 2 m, stiff or erect to subscandent scattered ± prostrate, simple to much branched, very sturdy stems low, well obscurely 4-angle, striated or sulcata, subglabrous to densely tomentose, ± narrowed nodes when dry.

Leaves elliptic, oblong or oval, acute or acuminate at almost round and very blunt, gradually or abruptly narrowed below, (2 -) 3-12 (-16) x 1.3 to 6 cm, indumentum ranging uniformly through subglabrous above, densely appressed-subglabrous canescent below to ± densely tomentose on both surfaces, petioles of leaves on the main stem 3-25 mm, shorter above and below. First inflorescences dense, and finally elongation (5 -) 8-34 (-40) cm peduncles (0.6) 1-6 (-7.5) cm.
Bracts lanceolate-deltoid or narrowly lanceolate, pale brown membranous, from 1.75 to 5 (-6) mm, glabrous. Bracteoles 01/05 to 04/05 (-6) mm, wings basal 1.3 to 1.4 (-1 / 2) the length of the spine and adnate to it, usually tapered off it, but often rounded or truncated. Perianth white or pale yellow green to red or purple, the segments 5, 3-7 (-10) mm, the longest outdoor narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, very acute, with a distinct midrib and two distinct lateral nerves obscure, narrow Light to medium edge. Stamens 5, filaments 01/05 to 04/05 (-6) mm, alternating with pseudo-staminodes subquadrate.
Typically the apex of the curve it slightly inward as narrow, crenate or entire, often very delicate flap, while the dorsal surface arises across fimbriate-ciliate extending across the width of the pseudo- staminode; is not uncommon, however, this is reduced to a "stag's horn" process at the center of the dorsal, or even become small and filiform apical or subapical or other so that the staminode sounds simple pseudo- (mainly in the small forms of var. sicula, which has not yet been found in Pakistan). Style slender, 1-4 (-6) mm. Capsule 1-3 (-5) mm. grain filling of the capsule , cylindrical, smooth.

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