Alternanthera pungens Kunth

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Alternanthera pungens

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nduna Lodge, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Alternanthera pungens

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nduna Lodge, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Alternanthera pungens

Picture: Bart Wursten
Second Street, Mutare

Alternanthera pungens

Picture: Bart Wursten
Second Street, Mutare

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Alternanthera echinata Sm.
Alternanthera repens (L.) Link
Common names:
Frequency: Common
Status: Introduced
Prostrate, mat-forming herb, growing from a tap root. Stems rooting at the nodes. Inflorescences somewhat spiny, due to long bracteoles and awns on the tepals.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: pungens: prickly, puncturing
Habitat: In bare ground and disturbed places such as lawns and roadsides
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native of tropical America, now a widespread weed in Africa
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 4.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 64. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 47. (Includes a picture).

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.

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

Townsend, C.C. (1988). Amaranthaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(1) Pages 124 - 127. (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 26. as Alternanthera repens (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Alternanthera pungens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Alternanthera pungens
Flora of Caprivi: Alternanthera pungens
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Alternanthera pungens
Flora of Malawi: Alternanthera pungens
Flora of Mozambique: Alternanthera pungens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Alternanthera pungens

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Alternanthera pungens., retrieved 27 May 2024

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