Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Erect annual herb, up to c. 1.2 m tall. Stems longitudinally ribbed and pubescent. Leaves rhombic-ovate, up to 7 × 5 cm, 5-veined from the base, hairless to finely velvety on both surfaces; margin toothed except near the base. Flowers in axillary spikes, unisexual on the same inflorescence. Female flowers below, held in shallowly cup-shaped bracts with toothed margins; male flowers above, very small, yellowish-green. Fruit 1.5 × 2 mm, 3-lobed, tuberculate, pubescent. 

 Note: this species is part of a closely related group, including A. crenata and A. segetalis.
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Derivation of specific name

indica: of India
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Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Plains to Low Altitude, Exposed Localities"
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Brief

Flowering class: Dicot Habit: Herb
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Distribution

Worldwide distribution

Thoughout the Old World tropics and introduced into the warmer parts of the New World.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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"
Global Distribution

Indo-Malesia and Tropical Africa

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Wayanad, Palakkad, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Kollam, Idukki, Malappuram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikkode, Thrissur

"
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"Maharashtra: Common throughout Karnataka: Chikmagalur, Dharwar, Mysore, N. Kanara Kerala: Alapuzha, Idukki, Kollam, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Malapuram, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram Tamil Nadu: All districts"
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"Found along the roadsides, waste lands and forest edges from plains to 750m. Common. Tropical Africa, Sri Lanka, India to Malesia and Timor."
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E Hainan, S Taiwan [Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; tropical Africa; naturalized in tropical America].
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Physical Description

Morphology

"
Flower

In axillary spikes, male flowers above middle, female flowers below the middle; greenish. Flowering throughout the year.

Fruit

A capsule, bivalved, hardly enlarged; seeds subglobose. Fruiting throughout the year.

Field tips

Leaves often greenish with yellow blotches, long petiolate.

Leaf Arrangement

Alternate

Leaf Type

Simple

Leaf Shape

Broadly ovate

Leaf Apex

Acute

Leaf Base

Rounded-attenuate

Leaf Margin

Crenate-serrate

"
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Description

Annual herbs, 0.5-1 m tall, monoecious. Branchlets adpressed pubescent. Leaves often ± apically clustered into flat rosette; stipules triangular, ca. 1 mm; petiole slender, 1.5-3.5 cm; leaf blade rhombic-ovate or subovate, 2-3.5 × 1.5-2.5 cm, membranous, pilosulose along veins, base cuneate, margin serrate, apex acute; basal veins 5. Inflorescences axillary, unbranched, 2-7 cm, pilosulose, bisexual; peduncle short; female bracts proximal, 3-7, 1- or 2-flowered, ovate-cordate, ca. 5 mm, margin crenulate, longitudinally many veined, pilose or subglabrous; distal male portion short, slender; bracts ovate-triangular or broadly triangular, ca. 0.5 mm; allomorphic female flower at apex. Male flowers 5-7 per bract; pedicel ca. 0.5 mm; sepals 4, ovate, ca. 0.4 mm; stamens 8. Female flowers subsessile; sepals 3, triangular, ca. 0.5 mm, ciliate; ovary pilose; styles 3, 2.5-3 mm, 5-laciniate. Capsule 3-locular, ca. 2 mm in diam., pilosulose. Seeds ovoid, ca. 1.5 mm, minutely puncticulate. Fl. and fr. Mar-Oct.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Habit: An errect, spreading herb, upto 50cm."
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Diagnostic

"Annual herbs, to 60 cm tall; stem striate, pubescent. Leaves 1.2-6.5 x 1-3.8 cm, broadly ovate, base rounded to shortly attenuate, margin crenate-serrate, apex acute or obtuse, basally 5-nerved; petiole 1.5-5.5 cm long. Spikes axillary, 2.5-6.2 cm long, monoecious, rachis ending in a triradiate hood at the tip. Male flowers above, ebracteate, minute, clustered; anthers vermiculiform. Female flowers below subtended by foliaceous, 3-7 mm long, suborbicular-cuneiform, many-nerved, toothed bracts; ovary hispid, 3-lobed; styles 3, each 2-fid. Capsules 3-valved, concealed by bract, hispid."
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Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Ecology

Habitat

General Habitat

"Common, on wastelands, in moist and shaded places, riverbanks. Plains from the coast to 100m. Tropical Africa eastward to Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Timor, Philippines."
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General Habitat

Dry deciduous forests and also in the plains
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Grasslands, wastelands, roadsides; below 100 m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: July-December
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acalypha indica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Folklore

Indigenous Information: The leaf paste is applied on the body as a cure for skin diseases.
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Uses

The leaf paste is given as a cure for asthma and brochitis.
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Uses

Medicinal
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Wikipedia

Acalypha indica

Acalypha indica (English: Indian acalypha, Indian nettle, three-seeded mercury French: Ricinelle des Indes, oreille de chatte, herbe chatte[1] Tamil: Poonamayakki,Kuppaimeni[2] Sinhala: කුප්පමේනිය) is a species of plant having catkin type of inflorescence. It occurs throughout tropical Africa and South Africa, in India and Sri Lanka, as well as in Yemen and Pakistan. It has possibly been introduced elsewhere as a weed. In West and East Africa the plant is used as a medicinal plant.It is a common herb growing up to 75 cm tall with ovate leaves. Flowers are green, unisexual found in catkin inflorescence. In West Africa the leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. It is also browsed by cattle.[3] This plant is held in high esteem in traditional Tamil Siddha medicine as it is believed to rejuvenate the body.[2]

Geographic distribution[edit]

Acalypha indica occurs widely throughout the tropics of the Old World. In Africa it occurs in Nigeria in West Africa and further widely throughout tropical Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. It also occurs in India, South East Asia, and Oceania. It has been introduced to areas of the new world with favorable climates.[1]

Effect on domestic cats[edit]

Throughout the area where the plant grows, it is widely known for its effect on domestic cats, which react very strongly and favorably to the root of the plant. In this regard it is very similar to catnip, but the effect is much more pronounced. Due to this ability it is called as Poonamayakki in Tamil, and Pokok Kucing Galak (Excited Cat Tree) in Malay.

Acalypha indica from pondichery botanical garden

Medicinal value[edit]

The juice extracted from the leaves, mixed with lime and applied on skin to cure diseases caused by Ringworm.Fresh juice of leaves mixed with oil and salt is used for Rheumatoid_arthritis and to cure Scabies. Powdered leaves are used to cure bedsores and infected wounds. The active medicinal compounds like Acalyphine and Triacetoneamine are extracted from this plant.They contain cyanogenic glucoside and alkaloids.The paste of the leaves can be applied to burns.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Schmelzer, G.H.; A. Gurib-Fakim (2007). "Acalypha indica L." ([Internet] Record from Protabase). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale). Wageningen, Netherlands: Prota Foundation. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Dr.J.Raamachandran, HERBS OF SIDDHA MEDICINES-The First 3D book on HERBS
  3. ^ Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (2008). Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 11(1). Medicinal plants 1. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen, Netherlands.

Media related to Acalypha indica at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Acalypha indica at Wikispecies

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