Scrambling or climbing shrub to c. 4 m high. Leaves: Inflorescences consisting of pedunculate glomerules, solitary or paired in the upper leaf-axils, peduncles c. 2 cm long, hispid. Flowers sessile, bisexual, tetra- merous. Stamens 8, filaments pink. Ovary 1.5 mm, densely velutinous. Seeds grey-brown, oblong, biconvex, 5-5.5 by 2.5 mm.
Asia-Tropical: Jawa (Jawa present); New Guinea present; Sumatera (Sumatera present), Pantropical present, tropical Asia present, tropical South America present
Tropical South America, but now pantropical and spreading rapidly in tropical Asia; in Malesia recorded from Sumatra, Java, New Guinea.
The glomerules are covered by thick, acroscopic hairs. Already in 1855 naturalized in Java; now a serious weed. Verdcourt (1989) proposed to conserve the name of this very widespread species [against M. pellita Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd., that was proposed as the legal name for the species by Barneby (l.c.)]. The present treatment follows that proposal.
Nielsen - in Fl. Camb. Laos Vietnam. 1981: pl. 5: 8-14
Verdc., Manual New Guin. Legum. 1979: 151
Miq. - in Fl. Ind. Bat. 1855: 43
Verdc. - in Taxon. 1989: 522
Barneby - in Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 1989: 129
Backer & Bakh. f. - in Fl. Java. 1963: 561
Burkill - in Diet. Econ. Prod. Mai. Pen. 1935: 1499