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Achyranthes aspera L.

Achyranthes aspera L.




Achyranthes obtusifolia Lamk, Achyranthes canescens R.Br., Achyranthes argentea Decne

Vernacular Names


Ara songsang, nyarang sunsang.


Prickly chaff flower.  


Jarong (Javanese), jarong lalaki (Sundanese), sangko hidung (Moluccas).

Papua New Guinea

Towano (North Bougainville).


Hangod (Tagalog), higad-higad (Iloko), saramat (Bisaya).


Khuai nguu, phan nguu (Central), yaa teen nguu khaao (Bangkok).


Khoy ngou.


C[or] x[uw][ows]c.

Geographical Distributions

Achyranthes aspera is distributed throughout the Old World tropics, including Malaysia and Australia, and introduced into tropical America.


Achyranthes aspera is a variable, annual to perennial herb, which can grow up to 30-120 cm tall. It is with angular stem, ribbed, stiff, with thickened nodes, variably pubescent and reddish-brown.

The leaves are ovate-obovate or elliptical-oblong, measuring 1-10 cm x 1-5 cm, with attenuate base, with obtuse apex or acute, hairless to densely hairy and with 5-15 mm long petiole. The spike is terminal and axillary, measures about 10-75 cm long, including a peduncle 0.5-15 cm long. The rachis is stiff, ribbed and more or less densely white hairy.

The ovate bracts are 2-3.5 mm long, acuminate at apex, not pungent and silvery. The bracteoles are ovate, with spines 2.5-4.5 mm long, sharp, with basal wing adnate to spine which is easily detaching and measuring 1-2 mm long. The tepals are ovate-lance-shaped, measure 3.5-6.5 mm long, 3-veined, green, pungent in fruit and the pseudo-staminodes are with a fimbriate scale. The pericarp is oblong, about 3 mm long and dark brown.

Ecology / Cultivation

Achyranthes aspera occurs as a ruderal often in sunny, dry localities, in regions with a well-defined rainy season, along roadsides and in waste places from sea level up to 2500 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1) Safety


  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.

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