Cyathula prostrata (L.) Blume

Cyathula prostrata (L.) Blume




Achyranthes prostrata L., Pupalia prostrata Mart.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Nyarang, menjarang, keremak.
Indonesia Rumput jarang-jarang (Malay), ranggitan (Javanese), rai-rai fofoheka (Ternate).
Thailand Yaa phaanngu lek (Eastern), yaa phaanghu daeng (Central).
Philippines Dayang, tuhod-manok (Tagalog), bakbaka (Iloko).
Cambodia Andot ko.
Vietnam D[ow]n d[or]g[oj]ng, c[or] x[uw][ows]c, b[oo]ng d[or].
Papua New Guinea Kinjan (Gaikorovi, Sepik Province).

Geographical Distributions

Cyathula prostrata is distributed from Africa to China and Australia, throughout Southeast Asia and introduced in Central America.


C. prostrata is an annual to perennial herb, which can grow up to a height of 30-50 cm tall. It is an erect or ascending herb with its rooting at the nodes, the stem obtusely quadrangular, thickened above the nodes, often tinged with red, covered with patent and fine hairs.

The leaves arrangement are opposite, simple and rhomboid-obovate to rhomboid-oblong form. The size measures between 1.3-15 cm x 0.7-6.5 cm. The base is contracted or narrowed, rounded, apex triangular, acute to obtuse, entire, ciliate, with margin or blade often tinged red and short petiole.

The inflorescence is erect, elongated raceme, terminal and in highest leaf-axils. The leaflets are densely hairy. The stalk of inflorescence measures 1-12 cm long. The flowers are in small clusters. The stalk of individual flower is short. It is erect before anthesis and reflexed in fruiting. The bracts are ovate and acuminate. There are 2-3 bisexual flowers at the lower clusters and up to 20 red steriles. The hooked awns are towards the apex with fewer sterile flowers. The apex has only solitary bisexual flowers. Its flowers are small with five sepals. The 2.5-3 mm long bisexual flowers are ovate-oblong, sharp and short tipped. The flowers are dull pale green, hairless within and externally clothed with patent long and white hairs. The tepals of sterile flowers measure 1.7-2.5 mm long but without a stalk. The stamens have 5 filaments that unite at base and free parts measure 1 mm long. The ovary is superior and obovoid with 1-celled, its funicle is short and in filiform style. The stigma is capitellate.

The fruit is an ellipsoid utricle, measures 1.5-2 mm long, thin-walled, hairless, 1-seeded and surrounded by stiff perianth. The seed is ovoid or ellipsoidal, measures 1-1.5 mm long and shiny brown. The seedling is with epigeal germination.

Ecology / Cultivation

C. prostrata is weedy and occurs in shaded localities, along roadsides, in teak forests, secondary forests, often gregariously and from sea level up to 1650 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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