- Creeping chaffweed
- Khaki burweed
- Springflower alternanthera
Alternanthera pungens Kunth
Alternanthera - alterno means alternate, anthera means flowers; pungens - prickly or puncture.
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).
Cotyledons are round shaped, finely pubescent. Leaves are simple and alternate. The blade is fleshy, oval to elliptic.
First leaves are simple and alternate. The blade is fleshy, oval to elliptic in shape, covered with soft hairs; the margin is finely toothed.
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.
Stem is cylindrical, prostate and solid. It is covered by soft hairs.
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 .
Inflorescences are small flowers grouped together on spikes. The inflorescence is spiny due to long bracteoles and awns on the tepals.
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.
fruit is a small achene, ~1 mm long with a truncate apex.
Seeds are prickly burs, white to yellow in color.
It reproduces by seeds and by vegetative spread. Seeds are dispersed by animals and people.
It occurs in gardens, disturbed areas, riverbeds and on roadsides. It can survive dry conditions.
Native to South America.
Distributed to the entire part of South Africa except on the far western part of South Africa.
Distributed to the entire part of KNP.
It is declared as a weed in south Africa. Widespread and problematic weed in disturbed areas.
Declared as weed, widespread and problematic weed in disturbed areas.
It is best controlled by pre-emergence herbicides at an early stage, but as it matures it becomes tolerant to post-emergence herbicides.
-(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.
|Springflower alternanthera||English||R.P.Randall, 2002|
|Khaki burweed||English||Foxcroft, 2003|
|kakiedubbeltjie||Afrikaans||Bromilow C, 2010, p. 311|
|pepperthorn||English||Bromilow C. 2010, p. 311|
|ikhungele||Zulu||Bromilow C. 2010, p.311|