Alternanthera pungens (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Alternanthera pungens Kunth

Protologue: Humb., Bonpland & Kunth, Nov. gen. sp. 2: 206 (1818).


Alternanthera repens (L.) Link (1821) non Gmelin, Telanthera pungens (Kunth) Moq. (1849).

Vernacular names

  • Thailand: khok krasun, khok krasun lek.


Native of tropical America; introduced and naturalized locally in Java, Thailand and India.


In India, it is said to possess diuretic properties, and a decoction is used internally to treat gonorrhoea.


A perennial prostrate herb up to 50 cm tall, with robust taproot, often woody at base of stem, much branched, stems solid; hairs minutely dentate; leaves elliptical-obovate, 1-4.5 cm × 0.5-2 cm, glabrous or slightly appressed pilose, petiole 2-10 mm long; flowering heads sessile; tepals 3-veined in the lower half, white, filaments united at base into a very short cup; fruit broadly ovoid, much compressed, about 1.5 mm long. A. pungens occurs locally in Java and Papua New Guinea, on waste land, dockyards and roadsides in the lowland near the coast. In India it is a weed of pebbly soils and dry locations.

Selected sources

93, 97, 288, 704, 816, 1470.


R.H.M.J. Lemmens & S.F.A.J. Horsten