Achyranthes aspera L.

First published in Sp. Pl.: 204 (1753)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Tropical & Subtropical Old World. It is an annual or subshrub and grows primarily in the subtropical biome. It is used as animal food and a medicine, has environmental uses and social uses and for food.

Descriptions

George R. Proctor (2012). Flora of the Cayman Isands (Second Edition). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Vernacular
DEVIL’S HORSEWHIP
Morphology General Habit
An erect herb to 1 m tall, the stems whitish-pubescent, with a few low branches; leaves obovate or rotund, 2–7 cm long and wide, rounded at the apex and sometimes with a small abrupt point, the surfaces pilose-sericeous especially beneath
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers green, in terminal whip-like spikes up to 40 cm long, more densely flowered toward the end; bracts broadly ovate, 3 mm long, tipped by a rigid spine; bracteoles aristate, shorter than the perianth
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Perianth segments 4 mm long, acuminate; stamens 1 mm long, twice as long as the staminodes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Utricle enclosed in the perianth and by the spiny bracteoles, readily detached and adhering to animals and human passers-by.
Distribution
Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac. A pantropical weed.
Ecology
Weed of pastures and open waste ground.
[Cayman]

Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E. https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.19592

Conservation
Predicted extinction risk: not threatened. Confidence: confident
[AERP]

Distribution
Biogeografic region: Andean, Caribbean, Orinoquia, Pacific. Elevation range: 0–1600 m a.s.l. Naturalised in Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Atlántico, Bolívar, Caldas, Cauca, Cesar, Chocó, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, San Andrés y Providencia, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca.
Habit
Herb.
Ecology
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, shrubland, native grassland, wetlands (inland), artificial - terrestrial.
Vernacular
Kuamna
[UPFC]

Amaranthaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:1. 1954

Morphology General Habit
A common weed of waste places, very variable, much-branched, 1–6 ft. high, sometimes subscandent, sometimes woody
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers green or pinkish.
[FWTA]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb, sometimes woody below, occasionally flowering in the first year and appearing annual, 0.2–2 m, stiffly erect to ± prostrate, straggling or scrambling, simple to considerably branched, stems and branches subglabrous to densely tomentose
Morphology Leaves
Leaves very variable in shape, from elliptic-acuminate to ± round and obtuse, shortly cuneate to attenuate at the base, (2–)5–22(–28) x 1.3–8(–10) cm, indumentum from subglabrous on both surfaces to densely appressed-canescent below or densely tomentose on both surfaces
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences at first dense, finally elongating to (5–)8–34(–40) cm, peduncles (0.6–)1–6(–7.5) cm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracteoles
Bracteoles 1.5–4.5 (–6) mm, the basal membranous wings c. 1/3–1/4 the length of the spinously-excurrent midrib
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Tepal
Tepals 5, narrowly lanceolate, 3–7(–10) mm, with a distinct midrib and 2 obscure to distinct lateral nerves
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium
Pseudostaminodes usually with a fimbriate dorsal scale, which is sometimes reduced to a dentate rim or becomes terminal
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style slender, 1–4(–6) mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule oblong-ovoid, 1–3(–5) mm.
Vernacular
Dai biret, ennole, il-cad, khabanot, laanbireed, lalais, marabboob, okat, orcut, sariibiye (Somali)
[FSOM]

Amaranthaceae, C.C. Townsend. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1985

Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb (sometimes woody and somewhat suffrutescent), occasionally flowering in the first year, 0.2–2 m., stiffly erect to subscandent or straggling and ± prostrate, simple to much branched, stems stout to very weak, distinctly to obscurely 4-angled, striate or sulcate, subglabrous to densely tomentose, the nodes ± shrunken when dry.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves elliptic, oblong or ovate, acute or acuminate to almost round and very obtuse, gradually or abruptly narrowed below, (2–)5–22(–28) × 1.3–8(–10) cm., indumentum varying from subglabrous through subglabrous above and densely appressed-canescent below to ± densely tomentose on both surfaces; petioles of main stem leaves 3–25(–30) mm., shortening above and below.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences at first dense, finally elongating to (5–)8–34(–40) cm., peduncles (0.6–)1–6(–7.5) cm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Bracts lanceolate or narrowly deltoid-lanceolate, pale or brownish-membranous, 1.75–5(–6) mm., glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracteoles
Bracteoles 1.5–4.5(–6) mm., the basal wings 1/3–1/4 the length of the spine and ± adnate to it (sometimes free above or tearing free), typically tapering off above but not rarely rounded or truncate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Perianth whitish or pale green to red or purple; segments 5, 3–7(–10) mm., the outer pair longest, narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, very acute, with a distinct midrib and 2 obscure to distinct lateral nerves, narrowly or moderately pale-margined.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 5, the filaments 1.5–4.5(–6) mm., alternating with subquadrate pseudostaminodes; typically the apex of the latter curves slightly inwards as a narrow, crenate or entire, often very delicate flap, while from the dorsal surface arises afimbriate-ciliate scale extending across the width of the pseudostaminode; not rarely, however, this is reduced to a “stag’s-horn” process at the centre of the dorsal surface or a shallow, dentate rim, or even becomes small and filiform – or else subapical or apical so that the pseudostaminode appears simple (this usually in small forms of var. sicula).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style slender, 1–4(–6) mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule oblong-ovoid, 1–3(–5) mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed filling the capsule, oblong-ovoid, smooth.
Distribution
Found practically throughout the world in tropical and warmer regions generally. Some forms may have originated in more restricted areas (e.g. var. sicula in the Mediterranean region, where it still appears to be the only form occurring, and var. indica in India), but these have now become sufficiently widely dispersed to make this a matter of conjecture
[FTEA]

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia. http://www.biovirtual.unal.edu.co/nombrescomunes/

Vernacular
abrojo, cadillo, cadillo de mazorca, canilla de golero, chiche de borugo, chichegato, chimboeborugo, cocúa, cola de caimán, descancel, discancer, discancer grande, iscanser, mazorca, mevoycontigo, pegapega, perico, pinga de gato, rabo de caimán, rabo de iguana, rabo de ratón
[UNAL]

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Naturalizada en Colombia; Alt. 0 - 1600 m.; Andes, Islas Caribeñas, Llanura del Caribe, Orinoquia, Pacífico, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Valle del Cauca, Valle del Magdalena.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba
Conservation
No Evaluada
[CPLC]

Amaranthaceae, C. C. Townsend. Flora Zambesiaca 9:1. 1988

Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb (sometimes woody and somewhat suffrutescent), occasionally flowering in the first year, 0.2–2 m., stiffly erect to subscandent or straggling and more or less prostrate, simple to much-branched, stems stout to very weak, distinctly to obscurely 4-angled, striate or sulcate, subglabrous to densely tomentose, the nodes more or less shrunken when dry.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves elliptic, oblong or ovate, acute or acuminate to almost circular and very obtuse, gradually or abruptly narrowed below, (2)5–22 (28) × 1.3–8 (10) cm., indumentum varying from subglabrous on both surfaces through subglabrous above and densely appressed-canescent below to more or less densely tomentose on both surfaces; petioles of main stem leaves 3–25( 30) mm., shortening above and below.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences at first dense, finally elongating to (5)8–34 (40) cm.; peduncles (0.6–1)1–6 (7.5) cm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Bracts lanceolate or narrowly deltoid-lanceolate, pale or brownish-membranous, 1.75–5(6) mm. long, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracteoles
Bracteoles 1.5–4.5(6) mm., the basal wings one third to one quarter the length of the spine and more or less adnate to it (sometimes free above or tearing free), typically tapering off above but not rarely rounded or truncate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Perianth whitish or pale green to red or purple, segments 5, 3–7 (10) mm. long, the outer pair longest, narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, very acute, with a distinct midrib and 2 obscure to distinct lateral nerves, narrowly or moderately pale-margined.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 5, the filaments 1.5–4.5(6) mm. long, alternating with subquadrate pseudostaminodes. Typically the apex of the latter curves slightly inwards as a narrow, crenate or entire, often very delicate flap, while from the dorsal surface arises a fimbriate-ciliate scale extending across the width of the pseudostaminode; not rarely, however, this is reduced to a “stag's horn”process at the centre of the dorsal surface or a shallow, dentate rim, or even becomes small and filiform, or else subapical or apical so that the pseudostaminode appears simple (this usually in small forms of var. sicula).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style slender, 1–4(6) mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule oblong-ovoid, 1–3(5) mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed filling the capsule, oblong-ovoid, smooth.
[FZ]

Uses

Use Animal Food
Used as animal food.
Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Gene Sources
Used as gene sources.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Materials
Used as material.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.
Use Social
Social uses.
[UPFC]

Sources

  • Angiosperm Extinction Risk Predictions v1

    • Angiosperm Threat Predictions
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Somalia

    • Flora of Somalia
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of the Cayman Islands

    • Flora of the Cayman Islands
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Science Photographs

    • Copyright applied to individual images
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0