Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Acalypha alnifolia Klein ex Willd., Sp. Pl. ed. 4, 4: 525. 1805; Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15(2): 843. 1866; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 415. 1887.


Tam.: Sirukurunjan.

Herbs or shrubs, up to 2 m high; branchlets hispid to tomentose. Leaves ovate, ellipticovate to lanceolate, deltoid, rounded, truncate or subcordate at base, crenate to serrate along margins, acute to subacuminate at apex, (1 -) 3 - 10 x 1 - 8 cm, membranous to coriaceous, pilosevelutinous on both sides or only above and densely white soft woolly tomentose beneath; main basal nerves 3 or 4; lateral nerves 4 - 6 pairs; petioles (0.5 -) 1 - 6 cm long, densely pubescent. Male spikes usually in lower leaf-axils, dense-flowered, 1.5 - 10 cm long; flowers 1 - 1.5 mm across, subsessile; sepals 4, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 0.5 - 1 mm across, puberulous; stamens 15 - 19; filaments ca 0.3 mm long; anthers linear, vermiculiform, 0.2 - 0.4 mm long. Female spikes terminal, 1 - 3 cm long, few-flowered; bracts folded, cupular to campanulate, 4 - 8 mm across, dentate, each 1- or 3-flowered; flowers sessile; calyx-lobes 3, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 0.5 - 0.8 mm across; ovary 2 - 3 mm across, tomentose, glandular; styles 3, filiform, fimbriate or plumose, 1 - 1.5 cm long, pilose. Capsules enclosed by bracts, trilobed, 3 - 4 mm across, hispid to tomentose; seeds ovoid, subglobose, ca 2 mm across, smooth, dark red to reddish brown.

Fl. & Fr. Throughout the year.

Distrib. India: Scrub jungles, on dry slopes with poor soil, sunny areas, up to 1000 m altitude. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Endemic.

Uses. Valaya tribals of Tamil Nadu use the leaf juice mixed with 100 ml of cow’s milk two times daily for six months against diabetes (Rajendran et al. in Indian J. Trad. Med. 1: 62. 2002).

Notes. Chromosome number. 2n = 20 (Harvey, Taxon 15: 155 - 163. 1966; Datta, Taxon 16: 341 - 350. 1967; Krishnappa & Reshme, Taxon 24: 533 - 547. 1980).





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