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Boerhavia diffusa L.

Boerhavia diffusa L.




Boerhavia repens L., Boer­havia coccinea Mill., Boerhavia paniculata Rich., Boerhavia adscendens Willd.

Vernacular Names


Spreading hogweed.


Phak bia hin (Northern), nang kuu sae (Karen, Northern), phak khom hin (Central).


Paanbalibis (Tagalog), katkatud, tabtabokol (Iloko).


Khomhin pak.


S[aa]m r[uwf]ng, s[aa]m d[aas]t, s[aa]mnam.

Papua New Guinea

Mamauri (Yule Island, Cen­tral Province).

Geographical Distributions

Boerhavia diffusa is a pantropical species and distributed in, throughout Malesia, Australia and the Pacific.


Boerhavia diffusa is an annual or perennial, erect, ascending, creeping or climbing herb, which can grow up to 0.4-1(-2) m tall. It is a hairy to nearly hairless herb, with club-shaped or stalked glands and glandular hairs while its root is spindle-shaped and often woody.

The leaves are ovate-Iance-shaped, measure 0.5-4 cm x 0.3-4 cm, obtuse at base, cordate or truncate, acute to obtuse at apex, and often white beneath but sometimes with red marginal glands.

The petiole is 1-0.5 cm long. The flowers are arranged 1-12 together in cymose panicles, measuring 0.5-7 cm x 1-6 cm while the peduncle is 2-5 cm long and 1-3 times branched. The pedicel is 0.3-2 mm long, with 1-3 bracteoles, and bell-shaped perianth, which is 1.5-2.3 mm long, with a distinct constriction in the middle, either white, red, pink or violet. There are 1-3 stamens. The anthocarp is club-shaped, 2.5-3.3 mm long, 5-ribbed, with scattered minute, club-shaped, stalked or sessile glands.

Ecology / Cultivation

Boerhavia diffusa occurs in dry open localities, pastures, along railroads, roads, and in secondary forests, on rocks and sand, from sea level up to 1000(-2000) m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1) Western Herb

  2) South Central America Herbs

  3) South Africa Herbs

  4) Ayuverda



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

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