Achyranthes aspera L.
var. sicula L.

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Achyranthes aspera var. sicula

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park NR

Achyranthes aspera var. sicula

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

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Common names: Burweed (English) Chaff-flower (English) Devil's horsewhip (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Probably introduced
Slender erect perennial, sometimes climbing or scrambling. The leaves are often covered in silvery indumentum when young (less noticeable in shade growing specimens) Inflorescences dense at first but elongating up to 25 cm with more widely spaced flowers. Flowers greenish to silvey-white, often tinged with purple-red.
Notes: Achyranthes aspera var. pubescens is a much more robust plant, sometimes softly woody at the older parts. It has larger flowers (up to 1.2 cm in diam.) and lacks the silvery indumentum on the underside of the leaves.
Derivation of specific name: aspera: rough
Habitat: In numerous habitats ranging from evergreen forest floors to open disturbed ground
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 2200 m
Flowering time:Nov - May
Worldwide distribution: A naturalized weed of uncertain origin now widespread in the tropics and subtropics of the world
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 63. (Includes a picture).

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 20. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 20.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 37.


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Other sources of information about Achyranthes aspera var. sicula:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Achyranthes aspera var. sicula
Flora of Malawi: Achyranthes aspera var. sicula
Flora of Mozambique: Achyranthes aspera var. sicula
Flora of Zambia: Achyranthes aspera var. sicula

External websites:

African Plant Database: Achyranthes aspera
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Achyranthes aspera
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Achyranthes aspera
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Achyranthes aspera
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Achyranthes aspera
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Achyranthes aspera
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Achyranthes aspera
Ispot Southern Africa : Achyranthes aspera
JSTOR Plant Science: Achyranthes aspera
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Achyranthes aspera
Tropicos: Achyranthes aspera
West African Plants database: Achyranthes aspera

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Achyranthes aspera var. sicula., retrieved 26 May 2016

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