Achyranthes aspera

Primary tabs

Achyranthes aspera


Herb to 1 m, whitish-pubescent, becoming somewhat woody at base; stems obscurely angled, purplish. Leaf-blade lanceolate, ovate, oblong, elliptical, oblanceolate, suborbicular or orbicular, 0.5-19 x 6 cm, often with undulate margin, apex acuminate or rounded, sometimes apiculate, dark green and pubescent above, lighter green and often more densely pubescent below. Spikes to 60 cm long, slender, with lanate axes, sometimes recurved or flexuous at apex; bracts white, hyaline, narrowly lanceolate, ca. 3 mm long; bracteoles purple-tinged, lanceolate, 3-4 mm long, base membranous and suborbicular, central vein protracted into a tawny, subulate, conspicuously induratedto 1.5 mm long awn. Tepals pinkish, brown, purplish or white, lance-elliptical, 3.7-4.5 mm long, apiculate, with hyaline margin; ovary turbinate, thickened and papillate above, stigma unlobed, scarcely enlarged. Utricle truncate at apex, ca. 2 mm long.


Asia present, Guianas present, Pantropical present
This species essentially comprises two elements, of which the Guianan one is a variety originally indigenous to Asia, but now pantropically naturalized as a weed (i.e., var. aspera); 22 collections studied, all from the Guianas (GU: 11; SU: 9; FG: 2).


In the Guianas only: var. aspera.