Vernacular
  • Bohomane,
  • Burweed,
  • Chaff flower,
  • Devil's horsewhip,
  • Grootklits,
  • Haak-en-steek-bossie,
  • Haak-en-steek-klitsbossie,
  • iBundlubundlu,
  • isiNama,
  • Knapsekêrel,
  • Langklits,
  • Lemanamana,
  • Lenamo,
  • Moxato,
  • Udombo,
  • uLimilwengwe,
  • uSibambangubo
Details
Eppo_code

ACYAS

Family

Amaranthaceae

Species

Achyranthes aspera L.

Meaning_of_the_name

Achyranthes - achyro meaning chaff or husk; anthos meaning flower. Aspera meaning rough

Global_description

Achyranthes aspera is an erect, sometimes sprawling, long-lived herb which can grow up to 2 m tall, with stems becoming woody at the base. Its short-stalked leaves are opposite, simple and egg-shaped; they can be densely to sparsely hairy and are dark green above and paler below, with young leaves often silvery. The small greenish-white flowers, often tinged with purple-red, form terminal spikes, dense at first but elongating up to 60 cm long. As the flowers age, they bend downwards and become pressed closely against the stem. The fruits are small one-seeded capsules, orange to reddish purple or straw-brown; with their pointed tips, they readily adhere to animals and clothing.

Similar_species
Cotyledons

Cotyledons are elliptical to linear, 20 mm long by 3 mm wide, and the petiole is 5 mm long. Cotyledon attenuates to an acute angle at the leaf base and tip.

First_leaves

Simple, opposite, and oval in shape. Margins are entire. The upper sides are green and pubescent while the lower sides are silvery and pubescent.

Habit

This is a slender, erect, and multi-branched herb up to ~2 m.

Underground_system

It has a taproot.

Stem

Stems are square with swollen nodes. The surfaces of the stem have longitudinal grooves.

Leaves

Leaves are simple, opposite and sessile. Oval to elliptic in shape (sometimes almost circular). They are 4 to 9 cm long by 2 - 4 cm wide. The margins are entire. Both surfaces are covered in short hairs although older leaves can be smooth. Each leaf has 4 to 9 arching veins.

Inflorescence

Long upright, terminal spikes. 10 to 50 cm in length.

Flowers

Flowers are scaly, very small and numerous. They are mostly green, but can contain purples and pinks. They have no petals but instead have two sharp and pointed scales. Flowers are pitched upwards when in bud, spread whilst flowering and then fold down to form fruits. The flowers start opening from the base of the inflorescence.

Fruits

Straw-coloured utricule, surrounded by the spiky perianth, 2.5-2.8 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, rounded at the base, with truncate or depressed apex; pointed downwards and pressed against the flowering stalk; indehiscent, 1-seeded, thin-walled; enclosed by persistent perianth and bracts,detaching easily from rachis.

Seeds

Seed 2 to 3 mm long, 1 to 1.5 mm wide, truncate above, reddish to dark brown and shiny, enclosed in chaffy calyx parts that remain attached.

Biology

This annual weed reproduces by seed. The seeds are dispersed by hooking into the fur of animals.

Ecology

Commonly found in disturbed areas. Prefers moist soil but can grow well in dry areas.

Origine

Native to southern Asia, Australia, and some Pacific Islands.

World_distribution

Widespread in the tropics.

South_african_distribution

Wide spread across South Africa except in the Northern Cape.

Knp_distribution
Use

Fruits are eaten by birds. It is traditionally used to treat chest pain and stomach ache.

Global_weediness
South_african_weediness
Knp_weediness
Global_control
Control_knp
References

-Blanfort, V., F. Desmoulins, J. Prosperi, T. Le Bourgeois, R. Guiglion and P. Grard (2010). AdvenPaC V.1.0 : Adventices et plantes à conflit d'intérêt des Pâturages de Nouvelle-Calédonie. Montpellier, France, IAC, Cirad
-Le Bourgeois, T., A. Carrara, M. Dodet, W. Dogley, A. Gaungoo, P. Grard, Y. Ibrahim, E. Jeuffrault, G. Lebreton, P. Poilecot, J. Prosperi, J. A. Randriamampianina, A. P. Andrianaivo and F. Théveny (2008). Advent-OI : Principales adventices des îles du sud-ouest de l'Océan Indien. Cirad. Montpellier, France, Cirad.
-Bromilow C. 2010. Problem plants and alien weeds of South Africa. Pretoria: Briza Publications, p. 203.
-Bio-NET EAFRINET
-Flora of Zimbabwe
-Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
-Swaziland Alien Plants Database
-US Forest Service, Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

Web_links

http://www.agis.agric.za/wip/
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=122450
http://idao.cirad.fr/SpecieSheet?sheet=adventoi/especes/a/acyas/acyas_fr.html
http://data.plantnet-project.org/adventilles/_design/datamanager/index.html#/viewdoc/mm_9c11b4afef852eb758710127d08d6399##270f412b7ed9aa59543fced652006b04/0
http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/eafrinet/weeds/key/weeds/Media/Html/Achyranthes_aspera_%28Devils_Horsewhip%29.htm
http://www.sntc.org.sz/alienplants/speciesinfo.asp?spid=36
http://www.sntc.org.sz/alienplants/speciesinfo.asp?spid=37
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/achyranthes_aspera.htm
http://keys.trin.org.au/key-server/data/0e0f0504-0103-430d-8004-060d07080d04/media/Html/taxon/Achyranthes_aspera.htm

Vernacular Country Language Source
Moxato South Africa Tswana
Devil's horsewhip English ITIS
Lenamo South Africa Siswati
Bohomane South Africa Sotho
Udombo South Africa Ndebele
Haak-en-steek-klitsbossie South Africa Afrikaans
uLimilwengwe South Africa Zulu
Grootklits South Africa Afrikaans
uSibambangubo South Africa Zulu
Lemanamana South Africa Swazi
Haak-en-steek-bossie South Africa Afrikaans
Langklits South Africa Afrikaans
isiNama South Africa Zulu
Knapsekêrel South Africa Afrikaans
Burweed English
iBundlubundlu South Africa Zulu
Chaff flower English Foxcroft, 2003
Map