Boerhavia erecta (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Boerhavia erecta L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 1: 3 (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: bajam merah, cakaran, cakar ayam (Javanese)
  • Thailand: phak khom hin (peninsular), yaa nuat (central)
  • Vietnam: nam sâm dứng.


A pantropical weed, native to tropical America, not recorded from Australia. In Malesia occurring in Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands and New Guinea.


B. erecta is not known to be used medicinally in South-East Asia, but it is thought to have similar properties as B. diffusa , and therefore has potential in the region. It may become a serious weed in annual crops, such as groundnut, sorghum and cotton.


An annual or sometimes perennial herb, erect or decumbent at the base, 20-80 cm tall, puberulous to glabrescent; leaves ovate, oblong or lanceolate, 1.7-3.5 cm × 1-2.3 cm, base rounded to truncate, apex acute, beneath white with sunken red glands, petiole 1.5-4 cm long; flowers 2-4 together in a cymose panicle, 1-2.5 cm × 1.5-3.5 cm, peduncle 1.5-2 cm long, 1-3 times branched; pedicel 0.5-5 mm long, with 1-2 bracteoles at top or lower, perianth tubular-campanulate, 1.7-2.5 mm long, with a distinct constriction in the middle, white, red or pink, stamens 2-3, like the style barely exserted; anthocarp obconical, 3-3.7 mm long, apex truncate, glabrous, faintly 5-ribbed, grooves between ribs slightly undulate. B. erecta occurs in open, sandy localities, along rail-roads, roads and in waste places, from sea-level up to 2000 m altitude.

Selected sources

74, 293, 441, 696, 745, 787.


Slamet Sutanti Budi Rahayu