Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Microstachys chamaelea (L.) Müll.Arg. in Linnaea 32: 95. 1893; Esser in Blumea 44: 176. 1999. Tragia chamaelea L., Sp. Pl. 981. 1753. Sebastiania chamaelea (L.) Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15(2): 1175. 1866; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 475. 1866.

Mar.: Bhui-erandi.

Perennial herbs to subshrubs, erect or ascending, up to 75 cm high, with milky latex; branchlets angled, puberulous. Leaves linear-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, cuneate at base, minutely crenulate-dentate along margins, acute or obtuse and apiculate at apex, 1.5 - 8 x 0.4 - 1 cm; lateral nerves 15 - 30 pairs; petioles up to 3 mm long; stipules 0.5 – 2 x 0.2 – 0.5 mm, densely pilose. Inflorescences up to 3 cm long; flowers spirally arranged; bracts triangular to lanceolate. Male flowers: ca 1.5 mm across; bracts minute, completely covered by glands; calyx 5-lobed; lobes ovate, fimbriate, 1.5 - 2 mm long; stamens 3, exserted. Female flowers: solitary, axillary in upper leaf-axils or below the male flowers in the spikes, ca 1 mm across; calyx-lobes 3, ovate; ovary 3-lobed, echinate; styles 3, shortly connate, spreading, ca 2.5 mm long. Fruits ellipsoid, 3-lobed, with 2 vertical rows of soft prickles, 4 - 5 mm across, light green with a flush of red between warts; seeds oblong-ellipsoid, barrel-shaped with parallel sides, truncate at base, rounded at apex, ca 2.5 x 2 mm, brown, yellowish mottled.

Fl. & Fr. Throughout the year.

Distrib. India: A weed in cultivated land, fallow fields, on thin layer of soils on rocky places and often as forest undergrowth, roadsides, grasslands, from sandy beaches to hills, up to 1200 m altitude. Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Andaman Islands.

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