Terrestrial herb, delicate, erect, glabrous, annual. Stem 10-30(-40) cm long, green often reddish tinged. Leaves alternate, basely attached; petiole to 0.3-2.5 cm long, glabrous; blade membranous, often drying translucent, broadly elliptic to deltoid, 1-3.7(-5) x 1-3.5(-5.5) cm, apex acute to obtuse, base rounded, cordulate or truncate; palmately 5-7-veined. Inflorescence terminal, solitary; peduncle slender, to 1 cm long, green; spike 1-6 cm long; densely flowered; floral bracts rounded, glabrous, minutely glandular. Fruits somewhat stipitate, globose, brown (young, green ones may be finely longitudinally ridged), stigma apical, a short style may be developed.
Neotropics present, Paleotropics present
Widespread in the Neotropics and occurring in the Paleotropics as well; 93 collections studied (GU: 20; SU: 45; FG: 28).
Suriname: against inflammations, skim bruises, as a diuretic; mixed with other substances against high blood pressure (Raghoenandan, Utrecht internal report). To flavor salads, it can be found in gardens and pots also as a weed. The plants have some medicinal and even poisonous properties (pers. comm. J.C. Lindeman).