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Euphorbia hirta L.

Euphorbia hirta L.

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Synonyms

Euphorbia pilulifera L., Chamaesyce pilulifera (L.) Small, Chamaesyce hirta (L.) Millsp.

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Ambin jantan, kelusan, keremak susu (Peninsular)
English Asthma herb, hairy spurge, pill-bearing spurge
Indonesia Daun biji kacang (Malay,Moluccas), nanangkaan (Sundanese), patikan kebo (Javanese)
Papua New Guinea Sip (Kurtatchi, Bougainville), kiki kana kuku (Gunantuna, New Britain)
Philippines Botobotonis (Tagalog), gatas-gatas (Bisaya,Tagalog), maragatas (Iloko)
Laos Mouk may, nom ra sa 'si, ung1 yang
Thailand Nam nomraatchasee (central), yaa nam muek, yaa-langueng (northern)
Vietnam C[or] s[uwx]ra, c[or]s[uwx]a l[ows]n l[as]
French Euphorbe à fleurs en tête, euphorbe pilulifère

Geographical Distributions

A pantropical weed of Central American origin; introduced into South-East Asia long ago and nowadays occurring throughout Malesia.

Description

This is an annual, unarmed, hairy with long soft hairs herb up to 70 cm tall. The stems are sparingly branched near the base.

The leaves are opposite, ovate to ovate-oblong size 1-5 cm x 0.3-2.5 cm. The base is obliquely triangular to rounded while the apex is bluntly pointed. The margin is finely serrate, pale to dark green and often with purple spots. There is a short-stalk with sharply pointed free stipules.

The inflorescence is arising from axils or terminal and composed of inflorescence stalk, 4 minute spherical clusters of flower and lying flat-hairy involucres. The green or purplish glands bear a narrow appendage and yellow anthers.

The capsule is acutely 3-lobed, broadly ovoid-pyramidal, about 1 mm x 1.2 mm and lying flat hairy.

The seeds are oblong, with slight transverse wrinkles.

Ecology / Cultivation

E. hirta is a weed of waste places and in crops, occurring up to 2000 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph

E.hirta

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References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.