South-Indian Purslane
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South-Indian Purslane
P Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: South-Indian Purslane
Botanical name: Portulaca wightiana    Family: Portulacaceae (Purslane family)
Synonyms: Portulaca collina, Portulaca usambarensis

South-Indian Purslane is a spearding herb, about 10 cm high; branches angled; internodes very short, about 2 mm. It is quite similar to the more widespread Chicken Weed. Leaves are about 4 x 2.7 mm, heart-shaped to ovate-lanceshaped, pointed at tip, enveloped by large silvery scales covering Internodes, falling off; scales about 4 x 2 mm, triangular to ovate, pointed, membranous. Yellow flowers are borne 2-7 in head-like clusters at branch-ends, subtended and surrounded by hairs and scales. Petals are 4, about 2.8 x 1.7 mm, elliptic. Stamens are 10; filaments about 0.8 mm long, styles about 2-3 mm long, ending in 3-6 arms. Sepals are about 3 x 3.3 mm. Capsules are about 2 mm in diameter, spherical. South-Indian Purslane is common along sandy coasts, in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and parts of Africa. Flowering: July-October.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Radhapuram, Tamilnadu.

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