Sunday, 2 October 2016

Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene - Cyprus

Red Data Book category

Phyla nodiflora (frog fruit, sawtooth fogfruit, turkey tangle), is an ornamental plant in the Verbenaceae family, and is native to South America and the United States. It can be found in tropical areas around the globe, a naturalized species in many places. This plant is cited in Flora Brasiliensis by Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius. It is often grown ornamentally as a ground cover plant, and is often present in yards or disturbed areas as a lawn weed.

The inflorescence consists of a purple centre encircled by small white-to-pink flowers. The flower takes on a match-like look, which is why the plant is sometimes called matchweed. It is similar to the related species Phyla lanceolata, but differs in having much shorter leaves that are often blunt and much more rounded. Both species are common as weeds and in the ornamental environment.

Common names in India include bukkan (Hindi), ratolia, vakkan (Marathi), podutalai (Tamil), vasir, and vasuka (Sanskrit). It is used medicinally to treat suppuration, common colds, and lithiasis.

Photos Achna dam 2/10/2016 by George Konstantinou

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