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Pakistan | Family List | Aizoaceae | Portulaca

Portulaca tuberosa Roxb., Fl. Ind. 2:464. 1824. Bentham & Mueller, l.c.; Thiselton Dyer in Hook. f., l.c., 247; Watt., Diet. Econ. Prod. Ind. 6(1): 331. 1892; Trimen & Hook. f., Fl. Ceylon 1:89. 1893; Cooke, l.c.; Kirtikar & Basu, l.c., 138; Gamble, l.c.; Jafri, l.c.

Vern. Lunak, Jangli gajar.

Portulaca tuberosa

Credit: Azmat

Perennial, prostrate, diffusely branched, fleshy, glabrous, herb. Branches straggling, 4-15 cm long with 2-3 mm long internodes. Root tuberous, somewhat fusiform, 5-8 cm long. Leaves alternate, sessile to subsessile, linear or linear-lanceolate, 8-14 mm long, 1-1.5 mm broad, fleshy, acute; stipular hairs dense, 4-8 mm long, somewhat brownish. Inflorescence a small, sessile cluster of 2-3 flowers subtended by 6-8 leaved involucre. Flowers c. 10 mm across, yellow, surrounded by ring of bracteate hairs akin to stipular hairs. Sepals membranous, not keeled, united at the base, narrow to broad ovate, 4-5 mm long, 2.5-3.5 mm broad, acute. Petals 5, united at the base, lanceolate, 6-7 mm long, c. 2 mm broad, acute, yellow. Stamens more than 20, connate at the base into a ring, adnate to petals at the base, slightly unequal; filaments filiform, 3-4 mm long; anthers ovoid. Carpels 5, united; ovary ovoid; style c. 2.5 mm long; stigmas 5, elongate, reclinate. Capsule almost globose, circumscissile below the middle, c. 4 mm in diam., lid large, api¬culate. Seeds lenticular, testa aculeate, black.

Fl. Per. August-October.

Type: Described as “A native of the Circars”.

Distribution: Confined to Sind in West Pakistan; Srilanka (Ceylon), Bihar and Western Peninsular India.

It is distinguished from the closely allied, Australian, P. napiformis F. Muell. by its long stipular and involucral hairs and comparatively longer flowers and fruits.

The seeds are used as a vermifuge. The fresh acidic leaves are used in dysuria and externally applied in erysipelas.


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