Acmella radicans (Jacq.) R.K. Jansen
var. radicans

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Acmella radicans var. radicans

North Luangwa NP
may 2010
Photo: Mike Bingham

Acmella radicans var. radicans

Lusaka, Protea Hill Farm
May 2010
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Spilanthes radicans Jacq.
Common names:
Status: Naturalized, introduced; not cultivated
Annual herb 6-30 cm tall (exceptionally to 2.8 m tall per Ian Riddell); stems erect to ascending, rarely rooting at the nodes, green to purple, glabrous to pilose. Leaves ovate to narrowly ovate, 1-8 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, base attenuate, margins denticulate to dentate, apex acute, glabrous to sparsely pilose, and with hispid margins, petiole 4-37 mm long. Capitula solitary or in groups of 2-3, long-stalked, elongate-conical, discoid, 6-11 mm long, 5-9 mm in diameter; phyllaries 6-9, 2-seriate, 4-7 mm long. Disc florets many, greenish white or white, 1.6-2 mm long. Achenes black, 2-2.7 mm long, ciliate; pappus of 2-3 unequal bristles 0.4-1.6 mm long.
Type location:
Notes: This species was rare, in Lusaka at least, when I first recorded it in a maize field in 1991. It has since become one of the most widespread and common ruderals in the country, often exceeding Ageratum conyzoides in abundance.
Derivation of specific name: radicans: rooting at the nodes.
Habitat: Road drains, footpaths, fallow land.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Fl. Apr-Jul
Worldwide distribution: Native of Central and South America, becoming a widespread weed.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,N,Mc,Lk,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Thursday 6 April 2017

Beentje, H.J. & Ghazanfar, S.A. (eds.) (2005). Compositae (Part 3) Flora of Tropical East Africa Page 733.

Jansen, R.K. (1985). Acmella radicans (Jacq.) Syst. Bot. Monogr. 8 (69)

Other sources of information about Acmella radicans var. radicans:

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Flora of Malawi: Acmella radicans var. radicans
Flora of Zimbabwe: Acmella radicans var. radicans

External websites:

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

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: Acmella radicans var. radicans., retrieved 23 May 2024

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