Ox Knee
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Ox Knee
P Native Unknown Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Ox Knee • Assamese: Apamarga • Hindi: Putkanda • Kannada: kaadu uttharaani • Malayalam: പെരുംകടലാടി perumkadalaadi • Marathi: आघाडा AghaDa • Mizo: Vangvattur • Nepali: दतिवन् datiwan, रातो अपमार्ग ratoapamarga • Sanskrit: Apamarga • Tamil: நாயுருவி nayuruvi • Mizo: Vangvathlo
Botanical name: Achyranthes bidentata    Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Achyranthes hispida, Achyranthes japonica, Achyranthes chinensis

Ox Knee is an erect or straggling herb, 0.6-2 m, much-branched. Stem and branches are indistinctly quadrangular or channeled, hairless to moderately (rarely more densely) hairy, the nodes frequently much shrunken when dry. Leaves are elliptic-oblong to broadly oval, rarely narrowly lanceshaped, shortly or longly long-pointed, gradually or more abruptly narrowed below, 9-22 x 2.5-8.5 cm, usually thinly hairy, rarely densely appressed-hairy on the lower surface. Stalks of main stem leaves are 0.3-2 cm long, shortening above and below. Inflorescences at first dense, finally lax and elongating to as much as 20 cm but commonly about half this length, the inflorescence stalk is 1-4 cm. Bracts are narrowly lanceshaped, brownish-membranous, 3-5 mm, hairless. Bracteoles are 3.5-5.5 mm. Tepals are 5, 4-7 mm, the outer longest, all narrowly lanceshaped, very acute, with a distinct midrib and 2 obscure or obvious lateral nerves, narrowly pale-margined. Capsule is 2-3 mm. Seed filling the capsule, cylindrical smooth. This species is globally distributed in the Paleotropics. Within India, it is found throughout the hilly regions between an altitude range of 1200-3200 m, and is common in waste places and in shady oak-forests.
Medicinal uses: In Nepal its root juice is used for toothache. Its seeds have been used as a substitute for cereal grains in famine years. The plant is used externally in the treatment of leech bites in Mizoram, India and a decoction as a diuretic.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Dachhigam forest, Kashmir.

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