Waltheria indica L.

First published in Sp. Pl.: 673 (1753)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Tropical & Subtropical America. It is a subshrub or shrub and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome. It is has social uses, as animal food and a medicine and for food.

Descriptions

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

Distribution
Grand Cayman, Little Cayman. West Indies and continental tropical America; naturalised in the Old World tropics.
Ecology
In the Cayman Islands, this species grows in dry sandy thickets, rough pastures, and in rocky scrublands.
[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]

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
babosa amarilla, babosa hojimenuda, cadillo, escoba de puerco, escoba real, escobilla
[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
Nativa en Colombia; Alt. 50 - 1450 m.; Andes, Islas Caribeñas, Llanura del Caribe, Valle del Magdalena.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba, subarbusto, arbusto
Conservation
No Evaluada
[CPLC]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/131182966/192162624

Conservation
LC - least concern
[IUCN]

Sterculiaceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 1:2. 1961

Morphology General Habit
Bushy herb usually 0·6–1·3 m. tall, rather sparsely stellate-pubescent to stellate-tomentose in its vegetative parts.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-lamina up to 9 × 4 cm., ovate-oblong to oblong, apex obtuse or subacute, margin serrate-crenate, base rounded and 5-nerved, nervation somewhat impressed above, prominent below; petiole up to 3·3 cm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers yellow, in dense subsessile or long-pedunculate, axillary, globose heads, or the upper inflorescences forming a short interrupted or continuous spike, or irregularly collected into dense, leafy or leafless cymes or corymbs; bracts and bracteoles about as long as the flowers, linear or linear-lanceolate, tomentose outside.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 2–3 mm. long, campanulate, villous, divided somewhat less than 1/2 way into 5 triangular lobes.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals as long as or slightly longer than the calyx, obovate-oblong, shortly clawed, glabrous or the apex stellate-ciliolate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens with the filaments united into a tube shorter than the petals; anther-thecae parallel, bluntly mucronate at base and apex.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary oblong-ovoid, hirsute in the upper half; style pubescent, somewhat excentric, c. 1·5 mm. long; stigma penicillate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule c. 3 × 2 mm., obovoid, villous above, 1- or rarely 2-seeded.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds c. 2 × 1·4 mm., dark brown, obovoid; testa smooth.
[FZ]

Sterculiaceae, Martin Cheek & Laurence Dorr; Nesogordonia, Laurence Dorr, Lisa Barnett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2007

Type
Lectotype (as “type”), selected by I. Verd. (1981: 275): “Habitat in India” (LINN no. 852.2, lecto.)
Morphology General Habit
Shrub, subshrub or suffrutescent herb, 0.5–1.5 m tall.
Morphology Stem
Stems ascending to decumbent; branches densely stellate-pubescent to tomentose throughout, becoming ± glabrous
Morphology Leaves
Leaves ovate to ovate-oblong or ovate-lanceolate, 2.2–13(–15) cm long, 1–8.5 cm wide, reduced in size below the inflorescence, apex rounded, obtuse or subacute, margin crenate-serrate, base rounded, truncate or subcordate, chartaceous, 5-nerved from the base; ± velvety stellate-pubescent to tomentose above and below, occasionally the hairs stiff, slightly discolorous and paler below; petiole 0.4–4.5 cm long, 1–1.5 mm wide (leaves subtending the inflorescence subsessile), stellate-pubescent; stipules filiform, 3–8(–10) mm long, caducous. Inflorescences axillary, tightly congested (rarely sublax) cymes, occasionally more elongate and paniculiform, peduncle to 4.5 cm long; bracts linear-lanceolate,3.5–6 mm long, hirsute outside
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers homostylous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx turbinate-campanulate, 2.5–3.5 mm long, 10-nerved, stellate-sericeous outside, glabrous within, lobes triangular-subulate, 0.7–1.3 mm long, 0.5–0.3 mm wide.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals obovate to spathulate, shortly clawed, 3–4 mm long, 0.5–1 mm wide (at apex), yellow or orange-yellow, turning reddish-brown at maturity, glabrous. Staminal tube 1.2–2 mm long; free portion of filaments ± 0.7 mm long, glabrous; anthers erect (abnormal flowers horizontal)
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary oblong-ellipsoid, flattened apically, 1.5–2.5 mm long, 1–1.5 mm in diameter (widest apically), sericeous apically; style ± 1.5–2 mm long, sericeous, sometimes contorted; stigma plumose-papillate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules obliquely obovoid, 2–4 mm long, 2–4 mm in diameter (widest apically), thin-walled, sericeous; 1 (rarely 2)-seeded.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed obovoid, 1.5–2 mm long, 1.5–2 mm in diameter, dark brown or black, testa smooth
Figures
Fig. 22, p 128
Ecology
A common weed of dry grassland, cultivation, and other disturbed places; 0–1650(–2350) m
Conservation
A widespread and common weedy species, here assessed as of Least Concern for conservation.
Note
Waltheria indica and W. americana were published simultaneously. R. Brown (in Narrat. Exped. Congo, App. [Tuckey] 5: 478, 484 (1818)) apparently was the first to unequivocally combine the two names, and he adopted W. indica for the combined species. When the two names are considered synonyms, Brown’s choice must be adopted (see also Greuter et al., Regnum Veg. 138: 22; Art. 11, Ex. 18. (2000)). The genus Waltheria is poorly represented in Africa. Waltheria indica presumably is American in origin and given the great variability in African and Malagasy populations probably represents multiple introductions. The only indigenous African species is W. lanceolata Mast., which is confined to West Africa. It can be readily distinguished from W. indica by its ovate (versus linear) floral bracts. The recently described W. laxa Thulin is based on teratological material of W. indica. Strikingly similar inflorescence and floral abnormalities were described and illustrated by Scott (in Bothallia 12: 452, f. 16 (1978)) and noted by Verdoorn (1981), the former citing material from South Africa and Zimbabwe and including at least one specimen that had separate branches with teratological and normal inflorescences and flowers.
Distribution
Flora districts: U1 U2 U3 U4 K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 P Z Range: A pantropical weed
[FTEA]

Distribution
Biogeografic region: Andean, Caribbean. Elevation range: 50–1450 m a.s.l. Native to Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Atlántico, Bolívar, Caldas, Cauca, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Nariño, Norte de Santander, San Andrés y Providencia, Santander, Tolima, Valle del Cauca.
Habit
Herb, Shrub, Subshrub.
Conservation
National Red List of Colombia (2021): Potential LC.
Ecology
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, shrubland, native grassland, artificial - terrestrial.
[UPFC]

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

Distribution
Throughout the tropics and subtropics.
Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb or subshrub up to 1 m or more tall, stellate-pubescent to stellate-tomentose, with ascending to decumbent stems
Morphology Leaves
Leaves with 0.2–3 cm long petiole; stipules up to 5 mm long, subulate; blade ovate to narrowly oblong, 1.5–9 x 0.5–4 cm, obtuse to subacute at the apex, rounded to subcordate at the base, with serrate margins; venation prominent beneath
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers subsessile in dense axillary clusters
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx c. 2–3 mm long, tomentose
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals yellow, c. 3–4 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens with filaments united into a tube; anthers obtuse
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary sessile; style 1–1.5 mm long, with penicillate stigma
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules c. 3 mm long, obovoid, hairy
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds c. 2 x 1.5 mm, dark brown, smooth.
[FSOM]

Sterculiaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

Morphology General Habit
Erect herb or shrub to 7 ft. high
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals yellow, turning orange or brown with age
Ecology
Common in open places.
[FWTA]

Uses

Use
Numerous medicinal and incidental uses are recorded for this ubiquitous weed. In Kenya, leaves are used as a substitute for toilet paper ( Graham 1525; Magogo & Glover 509) and stems are used as tooth brushes ( Glover et al. 669). In Tanzania, roots are chewed to treat gonorrhea ( Tanner 4008) or cough ( Tanner 4068), and a decoction is drunk to treat painful urination ( Tanner 3880). Bathing in roots pounded and soaked in cold water is used to treat leprosy, while smoking flour made from the roots is thought to help when the throat has been infected with the same disease ( Tanner 1239). Leaves soaked in water with cattle urine are used for erysipelas ( Tanner 583) or a cold infusion of leaves is used to bathe infants to reduce fever ( Newbould & Harley 4331). The leaves also are used for cleaning copper instruments ( Abeid 147). There is a report of this species being a host in Kenya of whitefly, a pest of tapioca ( Robertson 3255)
[FTEA]

Use Animal Food
Used as animal food.
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
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    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
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    • 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
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    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
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    • Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
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    • 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/
  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/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
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    • Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    • © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
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    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
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    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0