Gunpowder Plant
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Gunpowder Plant
aturalized Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Gunpowder Plant, Artillery plant, Rockweed • Marathi: rip
Botanical name: Pilea microphylla    Family: Urticaceae (Nettle family)

Native from Mexico to Brazil, artillery plant is a short-lived perennial or annual that typically grows from 8-12 inches tall. In its native habitat, it may spread to as much as 24 inches wide and is sometimes massed as a ground cover. Abundant, tiny, obovate to rounded, succulent, light green leaves, 6-12 mm long, appear on this small shrubby plant, giving it an almost fern-like appearance. Tiny greenish flowers are not particularly showy. Male flowers explosively discharge pollen into the air, hence the common name of artillery plant. Indoor plants rarely flower and fruit.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar, Tanay Bose
Photographed at Ross Island, Andaman & Nicobar.
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