Vernacular
  • Creeping chaffweed
  • ikhungele
  • kakiedubbeltjie
  • Khaki burweed
  • Khakiweed
  • pepperthorn
  • Springflower alternanthera
Details
Eppo_code

ALRRE

Family

Amaranthaceae

Species

Alternanthera pungens Kunth

Meaning_of_the_name

Alternanthera - alterno means alternate, anthera means flowers; pungens - prickly or puncture.

Global_description

Alternanthera pungens is a protrate, mat-forming perennial herb growing from a tap root. The solid stems can reach 60 cm in length and often root at the nodes. The plant is glabrous except for a few scattered hairs along the leaves’ veins. Borne on short stalks, the leaves are simple, opposite (paired leaves are often of different sizes), oval-elliptic to suborbicular, with an entire margin and well-marked veins are on the underside of the blade. The inflorescences are spiny glomerules at the base of the leaves. The fruit is a lens-shaped one-seeded capsule (utricule).

Similar_species
Cotyledons

Cotyledons are round shaped, finely pubescent. Leaves are simple and alternate. The blade is fleshy, oval to elliptic.

First_leaves

First leaves are simple and alternate. The blade is fleshy, oval to elliptic in shape, covered with soft hairs; the margin is finely toothed.

Habit

A. pungens is a prostate herb, forming a mat that grows up to 10 cm. Grows in dense patches flat on the ground. Seed pierces the skin.

Underground_system

Taproot system.

Stem

Stem is cylindrical, prostate and solid. It is covered by soft hairs.

Leaves

Leaves are simple, opposite. Leaves are ovate or oval shaped. Paired leaves are different in size, one leaf of the pair is larger than its partner. The leaf margin is entire and wavy. Leave is carried by a short petiole. The blade is pubescence, with a round base and an acute to round apex .

Inflorescence

Inflorescences are small flowers grouped together on spikes. The inflorescence is spiny due to long bracteoles and awns on the tepals.

Flowers

The petals are whitish or straw coloured with a sharp point at the tip ,~ 5-7 mm long. Barbed hairs are found at the base of the perianth segments. These segments become hardened and form prickles as they age. Flowering occurs from spring to autumn.

Fruits

fruit is a small achene, ~1 mm long with a truncate apex.

Seeds

Seeds are prickly burs, white to yellow in color.

Biology

It reproduces by seeds and by vegetative spread. Seeds are dispersed by animals and people.

Ecology

It occurs in gardens, disturbed areas, riverbeds and on roadsides. It can survive dry conditions.

Origine

Native to South America.

World_distribution
South_african_distribution

Distributed to the entire part of South Africa except on the far western part of South Africa.

Knp_distribution

Distributed to the entire part of KNP.

Use
Global_weediness
South_african_weediness

It is declared as a weed in south Africa. Widespread and problematic weed in disturbed areas.

Knp_weediness

Declared as weed, widespread and problematic weed in disturbed areas.

Global_control
Control_knp

It is best controlled by pre-emergence herbicides at an early stage, but as it matures it becomes tolerant to post-emergence herbicides.

References

-(A Field Guide to Wild Flowers Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Region) Pooley, E. Published by The flora publications Trust c/o Natal Herbarium botanic Gardens Road, Durban 4001.
(Problem plants of South Africa) Bromilow, C. (2001), Published by Briza Plublications CC
-(A revised list of alien plants for the Kruger National Park.Koedoe) Foxcroft, L.C., Henderson, L., Nichols, G.R., Martin, B.W.
-Bromilow C. 2010. Problem plants and alien weeds of South Africa. Pretoria: Briza Publications. p. 311.
-Flora of Zimbabwe : Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T. & Ballings, P. (2013). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Alternanthera pungens.
-Swaziland’s Alien Plants Database
-Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)
-Weeds in Australia
-Afroweeds

Web_links

http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=122540
http://www.sntc.org.sz/alienplants/speciesinfo.asp?spid=39
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/alternanthera_pungens.htm
http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/weeddetails.pl?taxon_id=17128

Vernacular Country Language Source
Springflower alternanthera English R.P.Randall, 2002
Khaki burweed English Foxcroft, 2003
Khakiweed English ITIS
Creeping chaffweed English ITIS
kakiedubbeltjie Afrikaans Bromilow C, 2010, p. 311
pepperthorn English Bromilow C. 2010, p. 311
ikhungele Zulu Bromilow C. 2010, p.311
Map