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Pakistan | Family List | Illecebraceae | Herniaria

Herniaria hirsuta Linn., Sp. Pl. 218. 1753. Boiss., Fl. Or, l.c. 740; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4:712. 1885; Pax & Hoffmann, l.c. ; Kashyap, Lahore Dist. Fl. 203. 1936; Clapham, Tutin & Warburg, l.c.; Brummit & Heywood, l.c.; Brummit in Davis, Fl. Turk. 2:245. 1966; Chaudhri, l.c. 337.

Vern. Patrai.

Herniaria hirsuta

Credit: Asad

  • Herniaria besseri Fisch.
  • Herniaria incana Lam.
  • Herniaria macrocarpa Sibth.

    Annual, prostrate, branched, hirsute, herb. Stem and branches with 2-4 mm long internodes, with short hairs. Leaves opposite, sessile, covered with stiff short hairs or older ones occasionally marginally ciliate, alternate on flowering shoots, narrowly elliptic-oblong to elliptic, 2-4 mm long and 1-1.25 mm wide, obtuse, margin entire, hirsute. Inflorescence dense leaf opposed, stellate cymose clusters of 6-9 flowers. Flowers green, pentamerous, 1-1.5 mm long, sessile, perigyn¬ous, densey covered with short, stiff, spreading hairs, perigynous zone subglabrous to almost glabrous. Sepals 5, equal or somewhat unequal in older flowers, c. 1 mm long, oblong, obtuse, covered with stiff, whitish spreading hairs, margins membranous. Petals 5, free, filiform, alternate with and shorter than sepals, c. 0.4 mm long. Stamens 3-5, antisepalous, filaments minute; anthers ovoid. Ovary ovoid-subglobose, papillose near the apex; style minute, bilobed with 2 minute stigmas divergent in fruit. Fruit papillose near the apex, scarcely equalling the persistent sepals. Seed minute, ovoid, brown.

    Fl. Per.: September.

    Type: Described from Europe.

    Distribution: Belgium; France; Spain; Portugal; Italy; Switzerland; Austria; Germany; Czechoslovakia; Poland; Hungary; Yugoslavia; Greece; Turkey; Cyperus; Lebanon; Palestine; Iran; Afghanistan; India; Kashmir; Morocco; Algeria; Ethiopia.

    Plant parts contain saponin glycoside herniarin and an alkaloid paronychin. It is used as fodder for cattle and camels.


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