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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/28/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/28/2013)
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 204. 1753.
Synonym Achyranthes aspersa 3 indica L. loc. cit. 204. 1753. Achyranthes indica Mill. Gar. Dict. ed. 8: no. 2. 1768. Achyranthes argentea Lam. Encycl. 1:545. 1785. Achyranthes obtusifolia Lam. loc. cit. 545. 178 5. Achyranthes sicula Roth, Cat. Bot. 1:39. 1797. Cadelaria sicula Raf. Fl. Tell. 3:39. 1837. Cadelaria indica Raf. loc. cit. 39. 1837. Stachyarpagophora aspersa Maza, Fl. Haban. 93. 1897. Achyranthes asperse simplex Millsp. in Field. Mus. Bot. 2:36. 1900. Centrostachys indica (L.) .Standl. in Jour. Wash. Acad. 5:75. 1915. Centrostachys aspersa (L.) Standl. loc. cit. 75. 1915.
Description Erect or procumbent pubescent annuals or perennials, the usually branched stems to 2 m. long. Leaves scantily to densely pubescent, ovate to orbicular, apically acuminate to rounded, basally cuneate to rounded, 2-25 cm. long, 2-9 cm. broad; petioles 2-25 mm. long. Inflorescences of terminal and axillary pedunculate spikes, 3-40 cm. long, 6-12 mm. broad, the flowers deflexed. Flowers perfect; bracts and bracteoles subequal, 2-3.5 mm. long, ovate, spinescent, the tips rarely arcuate but not uncinate; sepals 4-5. greenish white, subequal, hypogy- nous, obscurely nerved, 4-7 mm. long; stamens 5, united below into a short tube; pseudostaminodia lacerate, exceeded by the 4-locellate anthers; ovary obovoid; style 1, filiform, at anthesis longer than the ovary; stigma 1, capitate. Fruit an indehiscent turbinate utricle; seeds cochleate-orbiculate, reddish brown, about 1 mm. broad.
Specimen BOCAS DEL TORO: H. Wedel 418. CANAL ZONE: Gatem, Cowell 300; near Frijoles, Pittier 6834; around Culebra, 50-150 m., Pittier 4068. PROVINCE UNKNOWN: Sutton Hayes 320.
Distribution A rather ubiquitous pantropical weed, this species is perhaps adventive in America.
Note In India the dried inflorescences are used by orthodox Hindus in sacred pyres. Standley & Steyermark (in Field Maus. Bot. 244: 145. 1946), who maintain A. indica as specifically distinct from A. aspersa, say that A. indica is scarce in Central America and known only from the Atlantic Coast, in contrast to the widely distributed A. asperse. The variety indica seems to be rather regularly distinct from the variety aspersa in having rounded leaves and shorter sepals. All the cited specimens except Hayes 320 seem referable to the variety indica. Many vernacular names are reported; zacpaiche and zorillo blanco in the Yucatan, abrojo in Salvador, mozote in Salvador and Honduras, mozotillo and rabo de chanco in Costa Rica, cola de armado, penegato, pije de gato and chile de perro in Guatemala where the typical variety is apparently distinguished by the natives from the variety indica to which the names pegapega, goincilla and mozotlexc are applied.
Common zacpaiche zorillo blanco
Common abrojo mozote
Common mozotillo rabo de chanco
Common cola de armado penegato
Common pije de gato chile de perro
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