Trianthema portulacastrum L.

Last updated: 4 September 2015

Scientific Name

Trianthema portulacastrum L.


Portulaca toston Blanco, Portulacastrum monogynum (L.) Medik., Trianthema flexuosa Schumach. & Thonn., Trianthema littoralis Cordem., Trianthema monanthogyna L., Trianthema monogyna L., Trianthema obcordata Roxb., Trianthema procumbens Mill., Verbesina aquatica Noronha. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Horse purslane, carpet weed, giant pigweed [2][3]
China Jia hai ma chi [3]
India Ambatimaadu, bili punarnava, bishkhapra, caru velai, chiratika, dhanapatra, dhedo santo, gadabani, gaijaa soppu, galijeru, godabani, hato, kathilla, khapra, komme, krurah, lalsabuni, mandala patrakah, muchugoni, nasur janghi, patol, prithvi, punaravi, raktakandah, safed santo, salsabuni, santo, saranai, satto, shavalai, shaaranaj, sharunnay, svetsabuni, thella, galijaeru, varshani, vishkhapra, vrscira, yerragalijaeru [3]
Indonesia Krokot, telekan (Java); krajep (Madu­ra) [2][3]
Thailand Phakbia hin, phakkhom hin (Central) [2]
Philippines Toston (Tagalog); ngatug (Ilokano); ayam (Bisaya) [2]
Cambodia Chonkuëng' praëhs [2][3]
Vietnam C[or] tam kh[oo]i, d[af]n d[af]n [2]
Papua New Guinea Pih-suh [2][3]
France Pourpier courant [2].

Geographical Distributions

Trianthema por­tulacastrum is distributed throughout the tropics. It is found in Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines, Java, Madura, Lesser Sunda Islands, the Moluccas, and Papua New Guinea. [2]

T. portulacastrum is a common weed in fields and in open, sunny localities such as roadsides, and often found on clayey soils near the sea, up to 200 m altitude. It is an aggressive weed, es­pecially in Thailand, Australia and South Ameri­ca, and can be controlled either by uprooting the plants before flowering, or by spraying the herbi­cide Fernoxone. [2]

Botanical Description

T. portulacastrum is comes from the family Aizoaceae. It is an annual, succulent, prostrate or ascending herb, up to about 60 cm tall, often much branched, smooth or finely hairy and with a firm taproot. The branches are in the axil of the smaller leaf of the leaf pair. They are alternate. [2]

The leaves are arranged opposite, ovate-obovate to obcordate-oblong, and measure 1-5 cm x 0.5-­4.5 cm, where those of the same pair are very unequal in size. The margin is entire, purple or green. The petiole is 4-30 mm long, dilated and with sheath at the base. The pairwise is connated into a funnel-shaped sheath. The stipules are small with one on each side of the petiole. [2]

The inflorescence is a single flower in the leaf axils where the lower part is hid­den by the pouch. The flowers are bisexual and actinomor­phous. The sepals (perianth) are 5-lobed with the tube fused with the petiolar sheath, with 2 pointed bracteoles, and even with the stem. The obtuse lobes are with a long dorsal, subapical mucro, pale pink and rarely white. The petals are absent. There are 10-25 stamens, with white filaments and hairless. The ovary is superior, turbinate, truncate, with style 1.3 mm long and unilaterally stigmatose through­out its length. [2]

The fruit is a capsule, measures 5 mm x 3 mm, part­ly exserted from the persistent perianth, truncate at apex, bilobed, with fleshy operculum, indehiscent and the basal part of capsule is thin-walled. There are 2-8 seeds. [2]

The seed is kidney-shaped, 1.5-2.5 mm long, with faint wavy ribs and black. [2]

The seedling is with epigeal germination. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of T. portulacastrum [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Trianthema portulacastrum L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated on 2012 Feb 11; cited 2015 Sep 3]. Available from:
  2. Aquilar NO. Trianthema portulacastrum L. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2001; p. 555-557.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRCWorld dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume V R-Z, CRC Press; 2012. p. 612-613.