Purple Leaved Button Weed
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Purple Leaved Button Weed
A Native Photo: Syed Parvez
Common name: Purple Leaved Button Weed • Malayalam: Tharakeera, Tharthaval
Botanical name: Spermacoce ocymoides    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Spermacoce tenera, Spermacoce trichantha

Purple Leaved Button Weed is a prostrate or spreading annual herb. Leaves are broadly elliptic, 0.7–2.5 cm long and 0.5–1.5 cm wide. Leaves are either hairless or with scattered hairs on veins below and margin. Flower heads appear at the end of branches or in leaf axils, up to 5 mm wide. Sepals are narrowly triangular, length variable on individual flowers, longest to 1 mm. Flowers are white, up to 1 mm long, petals up to 0.9 mm, much longer than the tube. Stamens protrude out, but are much shorter than the petals. Style does not exceed the stamens. Purple Leaved Button Weed is found in Indo-Malesia and Tropical Africa. Flowering: September.
Medicinal uses: The leaves are applied in a poultice as a treatment for headache. The finely crushed leaves are applied to wounds. The sap is used to treat eczema, worms and ringworm.

Identification credit: Sankara Rao Photographed in Chakradharpur, Chhattisgarh & Bannerghatta, Karnataka.

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