Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Spermacoce latifolia Aubl.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves, flowers, fruit. Herbarium specimen. © ATH
Habit. Herbarium specimen. © ATH

Aublet, J.B.C.F. (1775) Histoire des Plantes de la Giuane Francoise 1: 55. Type: Habitat ad margines viarum Caiennae & Guinae.


Usually flowers and fruits as a herb, spreading but occasionally grows to about 1 m tall. Stems four angled.


Stipules interpetiolar, broad and hairy with five large and five small teeth. Leaf blades about 2-7.5 x 1-3.5 cm, petioles nil or up to 1 cm long. Lateral veins depressed on the upper surface.


Inflorescence terminal and axillary, few-flowered. Calyx lobe margins fimbriate. Corolla white or mauve, tube 1-3.5 mm long, scattered hairy on the inner surface but more or less glabrous outside. Pollen white. Two fleshy glands visible at the base of the style.


Capsules about 2.5-3 mm long. Fruits clothed in white hairs, calyx lobes persistent at the apex. Seeds about 3 x 1.8 mm. Testa surface reticulate.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from South America which now occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in open forest and on agricultural land but also found in disturbed areas and along roads in monsoon forest and rain forest. Also occurs in tropical America and Malesia.

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