Centrostachys aquatica (R. Br.) Wall. ex Moq.

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Synonyms: Achyranthes aquatica R. Br.
Common names:
Status: Native
Prostrate to straggling or erect, much-branched aquatic or subaquatic perennial, rooting at the lower nodes with dense tufts of whitish rhizoids, stem near the base up to 2 cm thick, spongy, hollow. Upper stem and branches mostly hairless but increasingly appressed-hairy towards the inflorescence. Leaves lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong or oblong-ovate, 7-15 cm long, appressed-hairy on both surfaces (densely so when young); petiole 0.4–4 cm long. Flowering spike c. 4–12 cm long in flower, elongating to as much as 25 cm in fruit. Bracts deltoid-lanceolate, 3–4 mm long, hyaline with a single midrib, hairless; bracteoles more or less circular hyaline, c. 1.5–2 mm long, hairless. Perianth 6–8 mm long, upper tepal slightly longer than others, with a sharper, often slightly recurved apex. Capsule c. 4 mm long, slightly broader at the base but rounded above.
Derivation of specific name: aquatica: living in water, aquatic.
Habitat: In standing water and at the edge of a pan.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: From Nigeria to Sudan and Ethiopia south to DRC, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe; also in tropical Asia from India and Sri Lanka to Indonesia
Zimbabwe distribution: N,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 16.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 20.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 21.

Townsend, C.C. (1988). Amaranthaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(1) Pages 110 - 111. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Centrostachys aquatica:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Centrostachys aquatica
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Centrostachys aquatica
Flora of Zambia: Centrostachys aquatica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Centrostachys aquatica
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Centrostachys aquatica
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Centrostachys aquatica
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Centrostachys aquatica
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Centrostachys aquatica
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Centrostachys aquatica
JSTOR Plant Science: Centrostachys aquatica
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Centrostachys aquatica
Plants of the World Online: Centrostachys aquatica
Tropicos: Centrostachys aquatica
Wikipedia: Centrostachys aquatica

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Centrostachys aquatica.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=122500, retrieved 4 March 2024

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