Boerhavia coccinea (?)
Photographed in an area of disturbed sandy soil north of Mombasa, Kenya.
LEAVES: The triangular leaves are distinctive: the margins are wavy and
at a smaller scale appear ragged. Then there is a reddish border outlining the
HERB: Mostly herbaceous growth. With warm temperatures and moisture the
weak stems can grow with astonishing speed. The stems of most species tend to
lay prostrate on the soil or scramble up and over other vegetation. The stems
are swollen at each stem node and may be tinged red.
FLOWERS: The flowers are very small, but can be bright pink to red in
color. In the thumb image below the flowers are in groups of two or six. The example below
was seen at Voi, Kenya.
RANGE: Various species of Boerhavia are frequent herbaceous
plants of disturbed soils and gardens in tropical areas around the world. There
are several Boerhavia species in East Africa. The sticky seeds have
assured that these plants wide tropical distribution
FRUIT: The small oblong fruits have sticky surfaces allowing them to
adhere to people or animals. One seed inside each dry capsule.
Nyctaginaceae -- Four O-Clock Family
Michael J. Plagens, page created 01 October 2012,
updated 20 July 2017.