Boerhavia erecta

Linnaeus

Sp. Pl. 1: 3. 1753.

Common names: Erect spiderling
Illustrated
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 22. Mentioned on page 19, 20, 2.

Herbs, annual [slightly woody at base]; taproot tapered, soft or ± woody. Stems usually erect, sometimes decumbent, profusely branched primarily distally, 2–12 dm, minutely puberulent with bent hairs basally, usually glabrous, rarely sparsely puberulent distally. Leaves mostly in basal 1/2 of plant; larger leaves with petiole 6–40 (–55) mm, blade broadly rhombic-ovate, triangular-ovate, ovate, oval, or lanceolate, 20–50 (–80) × 10–45 mm (distal leaves smaller, proportionately narrower), adaxial surface usually glabrous, sometimes minutely puberulent, usually minutely punctate, abaxial surface slightly paler than adaxial, usually glabrous, sometimes minutely puberulent, usually punctate with small patches of small brown cells, base obtuse to round, margins entire or sinuate, apex usually acute, less often obtuse or rounded. Inflorescences terminal, forked ca. 4–6 times ± evenly, diffuse, usually with sticky internodal bands; branches strongly ascending, terminating in irregular umbellate or subracemose clusters of flowers, not all pedicels attaching at same point (flowers occasionally borne singly). Flowers: pedicel (0–) 0.3–2.5 (–5) mm; bracts at base of perianth deciduous, usually 2, narrowly to broadly lanceolate, 0.5–1 mm, apex often acuminate; perianth whitish, usually tinged with pink or purple [bright pink] between lobes and in tube, campanulate beyond constriction, 1–1.5 mm; stamens 2–4, slightly exserted. Fruits 1–11 per cluster, pale greenish to straw colored or tan, narrowly obconic, (2.7–) 3–3.5 [–4] × 1.2–1.5 mm (l/w: (2–) 2.3–3.2), apex truncate or broadly low conic, glabrous; ribs 5, acute, slightly rugose adjacent to sulci; sulci 0.5–1 times as wide as base of ribs, slightly to prominently coarsely transverse rugose, not papillate.


Phenology: Flowering early summer-mid fall.
Habitat: Disturbed areas, gardens, road and railroad rights-of-way, stream beds
Elevation: 0-1700 m [probably much higher in tropics]

Distribution

V4 32-distribution-map.gif

Ala., Ariz., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.Mex., N.C., Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, widely throughout the tropics and warm-temperate regions

Discussion

Boerhavia erecta occasionally forms mixed populations with B. intermedia without apparent intergradation. Rarely, some specimens seem to combine features of either species, particularly with regard to inflorescence structure. This is especially so in Sonora, Mexico, and in parts of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. The two species bloom simultaneously and are visited by small insects. Given the presumed close relationship and weedy habitats of each, hybridization seems possible. Usually, the two species can be distinguished by the differences in fruit length, the appearance of a crownlike apex of the nearly mature fruits of B. erecta (apex of ridges slightly expanded, apex of fruit slightly conic), and the more precisely constructed terminal umbels of B. intermedia. Both species, particularly B. intermedia, may produce entire inflorescences with branches terminating in single flowers. R. E. Woodson Jr. and H. J. Kidd (1961) suggested that B. erecta hybridizes with the perennial B. diffusa.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

"thin" is not a number."dm" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.

... more about "Boerhavia erecta"
puberulent +  and glabrous +
puberulent +  and glabrous +
Richard W. Spellenberg +
Linnaeus +
glutinous +
symmetric +  and asymmetric +
deciduous +
obtuse +  and round +
unequal +
woody +, leathery +  and fleshy +
5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br /> (8 cm80 mm <br />0.08 m <br />) +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br />) +
lanceolate;oval;lanceolate;oval;ovate;triangular-ovate;rhombic-ovate +
10mm;45mm +
deciduous +  and persistent +
distinct +
lanceolate +
minute +  and not accrescent +
corollalike +  and petaloid +
small brown +
Erect spiderling +
Ala. +, Ariz. +, Ark. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, La. +, Md. +, Miss. +, Mo. +, N.Mex. +, N.C. +, Okla. +, S.C. +, Tenn. +, Tex. +, Mexico +, West Indies +, Central America +, South America +  and widely throughout the tropics and warm-temperate regions +
0-1700 m [probably much higher in tropics] +
curved +  and straight +
subracemose +, umbellate +  and irregular +
inconspicuous +  and showy +
1 +  and 80 +
chasmogamous +  and bisexual +
1 (?) +  and 11 (?) +
not papillate +  and rugose +
coriaceous +
Disturbed areas, gardens, road and railroad rights-of-way, stream beds +
thyrsiform +, cymose +  and pedunculate +
4-6 times diffuse with sticky internodal bands +
unequal +
(4-)5-lobed +
pubescent +  and glabrous +
sinuate +  and entire +
subracemose +, umbellate +  and irregular +
0.25 cm2.5 mm <br />0.0025 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
0.03 cm0.3 mm <br />3.0e-4 m <br /> (?) +  and 0.25 cm2.5 mm <br />0.0025 m <br /> (?) +
campanulate +
constricted +
0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br /> (0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br />) +
4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br /> (5.5 cm55 mm <br />0.055 m <br />) +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
Flowering early summer-mid fall. +
subracemose +, umbellate +  and irregular +
0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br /> (0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br />) +
pale greenish +  and straw colored or tan +
glandular-pubescent +, glabrous +  and smooth +
obconic +
1.2mm +  and 1.5mm +
thick +  and thin +
fibrous;fleshy +
membranaceous +
ribbed +, 10-ribbed +  and 5-ribbed +
pubescent +, glabrous +  and warty +
wrinkled +
Illustrated +
fusiform +  and linear +
filiform +
0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br /> (0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br />) +
pale greenish +  and straw colored or tan +
3mm;3.5mm +
rugose +  and smooth +
0.5-1 times as wide as base +, 1.2mm +  and 1.5mm +
woody +  and soft +
Boerhavia erecta +
Boerhavia +
species +
umbellate +, subumbellate +, spicate +  and cymose +
capitate +  and subcapitate +
singly +  and racemose +
gland-tipped +
expanded +
pubescent +, glabrous +  and glandular +
fusiform +  and ropelike +