Thread-Stem Carpetweed
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Thread-Stem Carpetweed
A Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Thread-Stem Carpetweed, Slender Carpetweed • Hindi: चिरी घास Chiri-ghas, chirimorio, chiriya ro khet, jima, taph-jhad • Kannada: kaage purale gida • Marathi: Pada • Nepali: Parpataka • Sanskrit: ग्रीष्मसुन्दर Grishmasundara, Parpataka • Tamil: Chitam, Chitappiriyan, Chukkumapattiri
Botanical name: Hypertelis cerviana    Family: Molluginaceae (Carpetweed family)
Synonyms: Mollugo cerviana, Pharnaceum cerviana, Pharnaceum glabrum

Thread-Stem Carpetweed is a spreading, often overlooked, annual herb, mostly less than 10 cm tall. Leaves are up to 11 per node, linear, 0.6-2.0 cm long, about 1 mm broad; stipules falling off. Flower-stalks are up to 1.4 mm long, slender, hairless. Bracts linear, about 1 mm long. Tepals are free, up to 2 mm long in fruit, slightly inflexed, greenish with a membranous margin, elliptic-oblong. Stamens are 5, alternating with the tepals; filaments dilated at the base, slightly longer than the sepals. Capsules are spherical, seeds numerous, angular, with a single low ridge on the keel. Thread-Stem Carpetweed is native to Europe, Asia-Tropical, Africa, Southern America, Northern America and Asia-Temperate. Flowering: June-July.
Medicinal uses: Thread-Stem Carpetweed is said to have medicinal properties. The plant is cooked as a vegetable and gives as a remedy for fever. Leaves are chewed to treat cough, constipation, and reduce hangover.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Palladam, Tamil Nadu.

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