Achyranthes aspera

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Achyranthes aspera L.
  • Common Name : Anghedi, Prickly Chaff Flower
  • Plant Family : Amaranthaceae
  • Plant Form : Herb
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1-30
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Ayurvedic Udyan, Van Chetana Kendra, Basan, Aranya Van

About Achyranthes aspera Plant :

  • Habit : A wild, perennial, erect herb.
  • Stem : Herbaceous but woody below, erect, branched, cylindrical, solid, angular, hairy, longitudinally striated, nodes and internodes are prominent, green but violet or pink at nodes.
  • Leaves : Ramal and cauline, simple, exstipulate, opposite decussate, petiolate, ovate or obovate, entire, acute or acuminate, hairy all over, unicostate reticulate.
  • Inflorescence : A spike with reflexed flowers arranged on long peduncle.
  • Flowers :
    • Bracteate, bracteolate, bracteoles two, shorter than perianth, dry, membranous and persistent, sessile, complete, hermaphrodite, actinomorphic, pentamerous, hypogynous, small, spinescent, green.
    • Bracts ovate, persistent, awned.
    • Perianth made up of 5 tepals, polyphyllous, imbricate or quincuncial, green, ovate to oblong, persistent.
    • Androecium made up of 10 stamens, out of which 5 are fertile and 5 are scale-like, fimbriated, sterile staminodes, both alternating with each other, fertile stamens are antiphyllous, monadelphous, filaments slightly fused at the base, dithecous, dorsifixed or versatile, introrse.
    • Gynoecium is bicarpellary, syncarpous, superior, unilocular, ovule one, basal placentation, style single and filiform, stigma capitate.
  • Fruits : Oblong utricle
  • Seeds : Endospermic with curved embryo, 2 mm long, oblong black.
  • Flowering and Fruiting time : September to April
  • Significance :
    • It is very useful in dropsy, piles, boils and for colic in children.
    • It is also used as a cure for cough.