Prostrate Pastureweed
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Prostrate Pastureweed
P Native Photo: Shivaprakash Nedle
Common name: Prostrate Pastureweed, cyathula • Hindi: लाल चिरचिटा lal chirchita • Kannada: ನೆಲ ಉತ್ತರಾಣಿ nela uttharaani, ರಕ್ತಪಮರ್ಗ raktapamarga • Konkani: ¿ धाकटो मोगरा dhakto mogra ? • Malayalam: ചെറുകടലാടി cerukadalaadi • Marathi: भुईअघाडा bhuiaghaada • Tamil: சிவப்பு நாயுருவி civappu nayuruvi Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Cyathula prostrata    Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Cyathula repens, Achyranthes prostrata, Achyranthes diffusa

Prostrate Pastureweed is a perennial, slender herb, prostrate below and rooting at the nodes, branches ascending, 50-100 cm long. Stem is dark purple or yellowish brown, branched, hairy. Leaf stalks are 0.5-1.5 cm long, hairy. Leaves are opposite, up to 2-6cm long, 1-3.5 cm wide, rhomboid-ovate to elliptic, velvet-hairy, pointed at tip, wedge-shaped at base. Spikes at branch-ends on the stem and branches; upto 30cm long. Flowers pale pink to violet, in clusters of 1-3 perfect flowers laterally subtended by imperfect flowers, upper flowers solitary. Perianth of perfect flowers calycine, scarious, 5-lobed, the lobes tapering or with awns; of imperfect flowers reduced to hooked rigid awns, segments upto 3mm long, elliptic-oblong, 3-nerved, apiculate, velvet-hairy. Hooked spines of imperfect flowers are reddish, fasciculate. Stamens 5, the filaments fused below in a hypogynous membranous cup, with intervening lacerate or 2-3 fid staminodes; anthers 2-celled. Prostrate Pastureweed is found in the Tropical and Subtropical world. In India it is seen in Western Ghats and East Himalaya.

Identification credit: Shivaprakash Nedle Photographed in Nekkarekadu, Vittal, Karnataka.

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