Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Spermacoce exilis (L.O.Williams) C.D.Adams ex W.C.Burger & C.M.Taylor

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves, flowers, fruit. Herbarium specimen. © ATH
Habit. Herbarium specimen. © ATH

Burger, W.C. & Taylor, C.M. (1993) Fieldiana, Botany, n.s 33: 316.


Prostrate to spreading annual herb up to 30 cm long. Stems with four raised ribs.


Leaves normally opposite, sometimes verticillate with short axillary leaves. Leaf blades about 7-24 x 3-11 mm, ovate, elliptic to oblong;  scabrid on surface; petiole 0-3 mm long, slightly winged. Stipules interpetiolar, 5-9 awns.


Inflorescences mostly axillary, few-flowered. Calyx lobes 2, ca. 0.5 mm long; corolla white or purplish, tube ca. 0.5 mm long.


Fruit 0.8-1 mm long; seeds 0.7-0.9 mm long, oblong, sometimes with longitudinal ridges, with minute transverse pits, yellow to dark brown.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from Central America which now occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in disturbed areas and along roads in rain forest. Also occurs in tropical America, New Guinea and Malesia.


Borreria exilis L.O.Williams, Phytologia 28(3): 227 (1974).  Borreria gracilis L.O.WilliamsPhytologia 26(6): 487-488 (1973), Type: Costa Rica, Wafer Bay, Cocos Islands, June 28 1932, John Thomas Howell 10178.


RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.